Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a life-long neurological disorder that affects the way a person communicates and relates to the people and world around them. ASD can affect behavior, social interactions, and one’s ability to communicate verbally. ASD is a spectrum disorder, which means that while all people with ASD will experience certain difficulties, the degree to which each person on the spectrum experiences these challenges will be different.
Living with autism:
- Autism spectrum disorder is one of the most common developmental disabilities; today one in 94* Canadian children is diagnosed with an ASD.
- In Ontario, there are an estimated 100,000 people with ASD.
- Tremendous stress is placed on families when raising children with ASD.
- Early intervention is critical to the development of all children on the autism spectrum. Waiting lists for evidence-based services** are unacceptable.
- In some places in Ontario it can take up to four years to receive a diagnosis of ASD.
- ASD doesn’t go away in adulthood; the system must be responsive to the needs of children transitioning into adulthood.
- After high school, there is little support for youth looking to access post-secondary education or employment opportunities.
- Housing for people with ASD continues to be segregated and expensive. People with ASD require affordable, safe, supported residences, where they are a meaningful part of their communities.
* See www.nedsac.ca
for more information.
** Please read this important Canadian review of evidence-based practice.