Fact sheet on  lack of governmental response to Autism, an Autism Spectrum Disorder


Children and adults living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and who are now living with the effects, are a large and diverse group facing unique problems. While it is debatable whether there is a growing epidemic of Autism, the number of children being diagnosed is definitely increasing. Some researchers estimate that roughly one in fifty children could be on the autism spectrum yet the responses by governments has bordered on neglect for our future generations.

Historically there is always a slow response from governments in responding to disabilities. There needs to be firm proof the disability exists, then clear strategies for developing supports, and the emergence of welfare associations that can be funded. All of this has happened. There has been a measure of financial support by governments, but in most countries it is a drop in the ocean when looking at the magnitude of the issues.


Lack of specific supports

Service and support opportunities are limited, and community attitudes are restrictive, so adults on the autism spectrum face significant problems. Adults with Autism and Adults with Asperger's often face unemployment, difficulties in relationships, greater risk of alcohol and drug abuse, homelessness and inappropriate accommodation when support is required. In extreme circumstances, adults on the autism spectrum who exhibit challenging behaviors are being inappropriately diverted into the criminal justice system. Generic services that attempt to support adults on the autism spectrum often do so within a philosophical framework and operational culture designed for people with an intellectual or psychiatric disability.


Lack of appropriate schools

Children on the autism spectrum experience difficulties at school. At the milder end of the spectrum, so children with Asperger's syndrome may be in the general school system but with little formal support by teachers or the education system. Special schools for children with disabilities are not specifically set up to deal with Autism Spectrum Disorders so the child is in a system designed for intellectual disabilities. In many countries, any schools specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorders are privately run, hugely expensive and often require huge sacrifices from parents to afford the fees.



Inadequate and disjointed service systems place increased stress on parents and carers. Where specialist services are not available, parents report that their unmet needs are compounded by the complexities of dealing with multiple services, which may have differing or competing agendas, approaches and philosophical underpinnings. Needs of families also change over time in terms of