Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ignorance of Autism

Recently there have been two incidents reported in the media relating to the poor treatment of people with autism. One occurred in a Subway store where a mother and her autistic child were not treated well as her son was making noises as they waited to be served. It was alleged that a staff member said to the mother that her child shouldn’t come to a venue like this. The second incident occurred at an aquarium in Moscow where it was alleged a group of autistic children were refused entry because “visitors do not like to see people with disabilities”.

Subway management has taken action on the incident, including reviewing its training processes to ensure that customer service is always of a high standard. That is a very positive response to a delicate situation.

Irrespective of this, is there more that can be done to address the ignorance the general public may have of autism and raise the level of understanding?

There has been a lot done to accommodate people into mainstream environments such as education, employment and public transport but should more be done? When inclusion is done well it will lead to a positive and uplifting experience but done poorly it can be quite devastating.

What are your views on raising the awareness of autism so there is not only a better understanding but greater acceptance? What ideas do you have?

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