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From the CEO: Females on the spectrum and the need for change

Posted on 14 March 2017 under News

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The needs of autistic women and girls is a subject we’ve been hearing more and more about in recent years.

With good reason.

Autism has been growing over the past decade _ Amaze’s most recent polling showed that 52% of Australians have a personal connection with autism.

Awareness of women on the spectrum needs more exposure

But 70% didn’t know that the number of females on the autism spectrum is increasing.

This needs to change.

Understanding and acknowledgement of women and girls on the spectrum _ how it presents, the specific nature of autism in girls and their unique challenges _ needs more exposure.

Amaze will be increasing our efforts to build greater understanding of women and girls on the autism spectrum through additional information resources, research and advocacy.

This is my full statement on girls and women on the spectrum, released on International Women’s Day.

The concert is great news for Victorians.

Building understanding and inclusion

The creation of an autism-friendly performance of Pixar in Concert by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is great news for the Victorian autism community.

The MSO should be congratulated for taking the initiative in creating the opportunity for more children on the autism spectrum to attend their concerts.

Going to a theatrical event can be difficult for children on the autism spectrum and the MSO is breaking new ground for an Australian orchestra by creating an atmosphere that can be enjoyed by children on the spectrum and their families.

It is often the simple changes, such as keeping the lights on during the concert, that make the difference between being able to attend and not.

Recent research commissioned by Amaze illustrates why events such as Pixar in Concert are so important in building understanding of autism in the community

As I have pointed out, more than half of the Australians surveyed had a personal connection with autism however only 29% said they had an understanding of how to support people on the autism spectrum.

It’s no surprise 72% of respondents agreed that more needs to be done to support people on the autism spectrum including improving understanding of autism and how people on the spectrum can be supported by our community.

The MSO’s creation of an autism-friendly event is a great example of leadership in including people on the autism spectrum in the day-to-day activities most of us take for granted.

Fiona Sharkie, CEO Amaze

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