My wife Debra and I are raising 6 amazing Starr kids and each of our children are unique in their own special way. For two of our children, autism is part of who they are and that plays a significant role in shaping our family dynamic. I'm certain this rings true for many families with loved ones on the spectrum.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. In Canada, it is now estimated that 1 in 66 live with ASD and it occurs in every racial and ethnic group, and across all socioeconomic levels. However, boys are significantly more likely to develop ASD than girls.
Due to the fact that autism can be invisible to strangers at first glance, many will assume, judge and characterize through a typical lens, leaving little room for empathy during completely innocent interactions. From support services to education to employment opportunities, creating awareness opens the door to acceptance and the betterment of a society that can identify and celebrate different abilities.
Scientists believe that both genetics and environment likely play a role in ASD. Growing concerns that rates of autism have been increasing in recent decades without full explanation as to why makes awareness and acceptance even more important. We hope by sharing our experiences and what we know today about autism, the world will become a more inclusive place for all of us.
World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) is a great opportunity to celebrate different abilities and to learn more...
Autism Spectrum Disorder among Children and Youth in Canada 2018
"This surveillance report is “Made in Canada” and provides a first reporting of national data and information to improve our understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Canada.
Approximately 1 in 66 children and youth are diagnosed with ASD in Canada. For families, an ASD diagnosis can involve significant emotional and financial challenges. For those in health, education and social services sectors, ASD is an important issue due to the resources those living with ASD require for intervention and treatment and due to the on-going impact on the health and well-being of Canadian children, youth, adults and their families and communities."
Damin Starr is an Autism Parent and board member of the Canadian National Autism Foundation. He speaks regularly on autism and issues related to social inclusion.