AsIAm is a charitable organization that is a vociferous voice for the needs of autistic people. Now this organization has called upon the government to coordinate efforts to bring about a society that would be more conducive and empathetic to the needs of autistic people. The organization that terms itself as an autism advocacy is hosting its annual conference in Malahide, and strongly believes that an increased awareness of autism and its consequences would enable employers, educators and society to adapt a more compassionate view about the afflicted. Moreover, it would also bring about a drastic yet positive change for those who are suffering from the condition.
Rallying for change
The charity is seeking a broader nationwide strategy that would help bring about more inclusiveness in society for autistic people. It also pulled up statistics and said that up to 80 per cent of autistic people were either unemployed or under-employed. Statistics also reveal that 86 per cent of autistic people attend mainstream education. The CEO of AsIAm, Adam Harris, says that there is still a significant amount of work to be done on how to mainstream the understanding, knowledge and support for those who suffer from autism.
A more empathetic approach
Adam Harris has also promoted access barriers saying that autistic people faced a range of challenges in context of communication, judgment, predictability and also how the sensory environment functions. He points to the startling revelations which say that more than half of autistic people are afraid to leave the sanctuary of their homes. He says that in this regard it becomes even more essential to encourage a better understanding on Autism.
Early diagnosis is vital
The conference was attended by several delegates as well as autistic people. Brian Irwin, 28, is one of the attendees who was diagnosed with autism in his early 20s. He attributes the difficulties he endured at school to the late diagnosis. He says that he just did not fit in at school and felt starkly out of place. Moreover, he says that he had trouble coping with the sensory environment in school. Brian says he did not have much of a support framework in college either and it took him an extra two years to finish a four-year course. According to him, his job prospects also did not seem very bright owing to his condition. He says finding a job for autistic people is hard because of the unique way in which they communicate and relay information.
Employers can benefit from increased awareness
Another of the attendees was Chris Varney, the founder of the ICAN network in Australia. Varney was diagnosed with Asperger’s at an early age. He is a strong proponent of the concept that employers could benefit vastly by increasing their awareness on Autism. He says that autistic people can be a boon in the workplace since they are blessed with skills in different areas. These skills can be translated into boosting aspects of technology, IT and accounting.