Autism Queensland's annual “Go Blue for Autism” campaign kicked off on April 2nd 2017. This campaign is aimed to help raise awareness and funds to support individuals living with ASD and their families. Autism (also called Autism Spectrum Disorder) is a lifelong developmental disability characterised by impairments in social communication and interactions, as well as restricted or repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities.
Staff from the Gold Coast Women and Children's clinic supported this event by placing “Go Blue for Autism” support material around the centre, wearing Blue and creating blue cupcakes throughout the month of April.
Clinic Practice Manager Amber Devine commented “I think it’s very important to support campaigns such as this - as it helps to provide awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder into the local community”
Every person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is different to each another and has their own individual concept of how they see the world. Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. People with ASD also like things to stay in a consistently within a set routine and they may also be hindered by loud noises, bright lights or unexpected touch.
The 2012 SDAC showed an estimated 115,400 Australians (0.5%) had autism. This was an 79% increase on the 64,400 people estimated to have the condition in 2009. Males were 4 times more likely than females to have the condition, with prevalence rates of 0.8% and 0.2% respectively*
. The cause of ASD is not fully understood and although there is no cure, appropriate early interventions, therapy and educations delivered by qualified professionals can make a significant difference. Autism is diagnosed through an assessment which includes observing and meeting with the individual, their family and service providers.
If you have concerns about your child’s development, speak to your GP whom may be able issue an initial assessment and refer you to a developmental paediatrician. Developmental paediatricians, psychiatrists and psychologists (with experience in assessing individuals on the autism spectrum) are qualified to make a diagnosis.
All funds raised through “Go Blue for Autism” helped Autism Queensland provide education, therapy and support services for children and adults living with autism.