Autism Awareness – Go Blue on April 2

March 29, 2021

Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that impacts on social communication, social interaction and restrictive or repetitive interests and behaviours. Autism Spectrum presents unique challenges for people on the spectrum, as well as their parents, families and friends.

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) recently estimated 1 in 70 people are on the autism spectrum, around 353,880 Australians. There is an increasing movement within the medical profession to embrace their approach to Autism as a function of neurodiversity, rather than an illness or disorder.

Common Features of Autism Spectrum

  • lack of social or emotional exchanges like pointing, smiling, showing you things
  • lack of non-verbal communication such as nodding and shaking head, using hand gestures
  • difficulty developing and maintaining relationships appropriate to the age, such as peer play, lack of close friends
  • delayed expressed speech and understanding of speech
  • lack of eye contact when speaking
  • loss of language skills at any age
  • excessively following routines, patterns or behaviour, and becoming distressed at changes
  • stereotyped or repetitive speech, movements or use of objects, such as rolling wheels before eyes, flapping hands, toe walking
  • strongly reacting to sensory input such as sound, pain or textures
  • restricted or fixated interests such as only playing with certain toys or discussing certain topics.

If you are concerned that you, your child, or someone you love has undiagnosed Autism, speak with your GP at your next visit.

Local Services

As part of Autism Awareness Day, we’re creating awareness about some of the Autism friendly facilities and services available in the Illawarra.

  • Corrimal became an Austism Friendly Community in 2019. Parent’s Guide Illawarra provides a summary of Autism Friendly Organisations and Services as part of this initiative.
  • Aspect South Coast has provided specialised autism education programs and services for over 32 years and are based in Corrimal.
  • Aspect provides the following document with support group information (current 2019).
  • The University of Wollongong has a Sensory Room.
  • Body Dynamics in Bulli offers exercise physiology including ‘Super Moves’ aimed at safe and effective activity to improve the function and physical needs of kids diagnosed with Autism.
  • Unique Kids Clinic offers occupational therapy and physiotherapy in North Wollongong.
  • Quirky Kid in Austinmer provides child, adolescent and family psychology services.
  • A new Sensory Gym has recently opened in Warrawong.
  • Coles Quiet Hour is every Tuesday between 10:30-11:30am at Coles Corrimal.

For more information on Autism, visit Aspect.