New Amaze research highlights gap between awareness and understanding of autism
Amaze has released new research today that shows Australians have a good awareness of autism, however most people don’t know what to do to support an autistic person.
The findings reveal nearly all Australians (98%) have heard of autism, and 86% of people have contact with an autistic person. One in five people has an autistic friend, and one in four has an autistic relative.
Yet despite the widespread awareness and personal connection, only 29% of respondents said they know how to support an autistic person. And when the researchers asked the same question of autistic people, only 4% of them believed people in the community knew how to support them.
The research also shows that over half of autistic people are socially isolated and have high levels of negative day-to-day interactions including 81% reporting being stared at and 61% reporting people ‘tutting’ at them or shaking their heads.
It is these attitudes and behaviours that Amaze wants to change.
To build greater understanding of how autistic people can be better supported in the community, Amaze has launched a new campaign called Do One Thing For Autism. We’re asking people to pledge do one simple thing to make the world a little bit easier for autistic people everywhere.
“Better support starts with greater understanding, and if people were willing to do one simple thing to support the autistic person they know, the difference could be huge in the lives of those people,” said Fiona Sharkie, CEO of Amaze.
- Fact sheet - General understanding of autism and social isolation
- Do One Thing for Autism campaign
- The Journal – personal stories from autistic people