April will always be a special month for us as we join the world in celebrating World Autism Awareness Month. As part of our initiative in 2016 in spreading awareness and acceptance of autism, we wanted to find out what the general public understands about autism. Hence, we developed a mini survey and a total of 250 people consisting mainly of Malaysians took part in it. All they had to do was answer five true or false questions regarding autism. The results surprised us, so do read on to find out about it!
From the results, we found out that about 2 out of 3 people (67%) think that all children with autism have a hidden talent which is actually untrue! In reality, while all children are unique and special in their own way, only 10% of the autism population are savants. Find out more about this myth here.
On the other hand, approximately 4 out of 5 people (84%) agree that children with autism do show affection and that is accurate! Children with autism are indeed able to show affection and a range of emotions, be it negative or positive.
It has been said that children with autism are aggressive but about 81% of the respondents were right in agreeing that this is actually a myth. The main reason why individuals with autism may display self-injurious behaviours like hitting their head is due to the lack of ability to communicate. Do check out a video we made to bust this myth here.
What surprised us was that almost half of the participants (46.4%) think that there is a cure for autism but that is not true at all. To date, there is no known cure for autism. However, research has proven that Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) is the most effective treatment option in providing the means to help individuals with autism catch up with their age-appropriate development. Have a read about what ABA here on our website.
Lastly, almost 1 in 3 people (31.6%) think that parents should not be worried if their child is not speaking by the age of 3. Parents do need to watch out for any red flags and should seek immediate help if their child demonstrates any of the behaviours. We have listed out the red flag behaviours to look out for on our website. In addition to that, we also have a simple screening tool called the M-CHAT which will help determine if you should be concerned about your child.
Here is a video summary of the above results:
Do head over to our website to learn more about autism. Also, follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) to keep updated on autism and happenings in EAP. Together, we can support all individuals with autism!