In May 2018, Amaze released Australia-first research which showed a concerning gap between how many people were aware of autism and how many people understood it.
In 2018 two research reports, Community Attitudes & Behaviours towards Autism and Experiences of Autistic People and their Families, were commissioned by Amaze and conducted by the Social Research Centre at Australian National University and the Centre for Health and Social Research at the Australian Catholic University.
The first findings release centred on general awareness and understanding of autism.
The study revealed 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.