AMAZE has answered all the common questions they get asked about autism.

COMMON QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

What causes autism?
The cause is not clear. Autism can run in families, which suggests genes play an important role in its cause. Multiple genes seem to be involved. However, specific genes for autism have not been conclusively identified and currently there is no medical or genetic screening or diagnostic laboratory test for it. Diagnosis is based solely on the presence of particular behavioural patterns.

Is autism caused by something parents did or didn’t do?
No. Autism is not caused by a particular parenting style or by the actions of parents. While we don’t know exactly what does cause autism, we know that these theories and others like ‘cold parenting’ are completely false.

How common is autism?
Autism is being diagnosed in around 1 in 100 school-age children in Australia. More males than females are diagnosed with autism.

Does autism co-exist with other conditions?
Autism can occur by itself or in association with a disability or other disorders such as intellectual disability, anxiety disorders, ADHD, learning disability, epilepsy, Tuberous Sclerosis, mood disorders, sleep disorders, eating disorders, and others.

Will my child always be the same?
Many parents whose child has just been diagnosed with autism worry that this means that their child will not progress. Although autism is a life-long condition, children with a diagnosis will grow, learn, and develop as they get older. Their characteristics and behaviours will change throughout their life. Life circumstances and life stages, as well as therapy and support, can make a big difference.

Can children on the autism spectrum go to a mainstream school?
Yes, all children on the autism spectrum are legally entitled to go to their local neighbourhood school. Some may qualify for extra funding assistance to support the school to address their personal learning needs, for example collaboration and support from a psychologist, speech pathologist or employment of a teacher assistant.
Some children may attend a specialist school.
If you are a parent, choosing a school for your child is a very personal decision. You may seek advice from other people, but ultimately you will need to decide what is best for your child.

For more information on Autism – Visit the AMAZE website