An estimated one in 100 people has autism; that’s almost 230,000 Australians.*
This means that in the workplace, there is most probably someone with autism that you deal with on a daily basis. It could be a work colleague, a customer or supplier.
It also means that in the neighbourhood in which you live, there will likely be someone with autism and/or has a child with autism. It could be a friend or extended family member that has autism. If you’ve already checked this out and are adamant that you still don’t know anyone with autism, then we are 100% sure that you will know someone who knows someone with autism!
Some people go about their daily business without anyone ever knowing they have autism. Other people with autism may have some behaviours that you think are odd. For example, they may talk obsessively about a topic without letting you join in on the conversation. They may have mannerisms such as avoiding eye contact, constantly needing to fiddle with their hands, shuffling in their seat and seemingly not engaged in talking with you. Did you know these type of mannerisms make it hard for people with autism in job interviews? This is another area of understanding required.
If you still think you haven’t met anyone with autism have a think about the last time you saw a child of around seven years of age having a tantrum in the shopping centre with their mother to the point where the child is in tears, stamping feet and being abusive to the mother. Chances are, it’s because mum just told the child they can’t purchase a toy. Usually, seven year olds don’t have tantrums, it’s probably a meltdown where that child cannot regulate themselves. Or, it could be a spoiled child that is used to getting what they want.
Parents of children with autism need you to take the view that it IS a child with autism that’s having a meltdown (not the spoiled one) and they are doing their best to have their child behave according to rules in society. A lot of the time well thought out plans crumble and what occurs is a meltdown in public. And judgement from strangers, family, teachers and whoever else is spectating. Which is an added pressure they don’t need. At all. Ever.
Here are some links that can further explain autism:
Thank you for landing on this page as it shows you are takings steps to further understand, accept and celebrate people with autism!