Understanding Autism

Most people think autistic children are just badly behaved

New research has revealed the nation have a lack of understanding about autism with many just perceiving autistic children as “naughty” and ill-behaved. Over half (58%) said they have been openly criticised by a passer-by about their child’s behaviour and almost a third of parents and carers (32%) said their child had been excluded from a recreational club or activity due to their autism. Author Nick Hornby and son Danny, sharing their personal experiences of autism:

Three quarters of parents and carers of autistic children believe the public see their children as just “naughty”, with almost nine in ten (87%) saying they are stared at when they are out in public. The lack of understanding can cause families to feel isolated and in some cases to start avoiding going out to public places. As many as 87% of parents and carers feel unsupported by their communities and over half described the public’s perception of autism as “poor” despite it affecting one in a 100 children in the UK. This was in fact borne out by an additional survey which found that over a quarter (26%) of the general public believes children with autism are often “badly behaved”. The research, released to coincide with the launch of TreeHouse’s new national campaign - “Talk about Autism”, supported by Talk Talk, shows a fifth of people (19%) think autism affects just one in one thousand people whereas in truth it is ten times more common, affecting one in one hundred.

For more information visit www.talkaboutautism.org.uk

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