Autism is not a disease. If we think about Sheldon from the ‘Big Bang Theory’, Raymond Babbitt from ‘Rain Man’ or Shaun Murphy from ‘The Good Doctor’ to give just a few examples, autism seems more like a superpower, than a curse. An oversimplified answer as to why this happens would be that the brains of people with autism are simply wired differently. As there is a long way to go before these scientific truths will be widely accepted and embrace, children with autism should benefit from specialized and tailored programs, such as the one offered by Canadian centre ‘Therapy Spot’ called GABA (Gestalt Applied Behavioural Analysis) school, and ensure their development is in no way compromised or made more difficult than it should be.
In 2018, the Public Health Agency of Canada published the first national autism prevalence estimates among children aged 5-17 years. Findings showed that 1 in 66 Canadian children and youth have been diagnosed with autism and in line with what has been found in the past, boys are getting more diagnoses than girls. In Canada specifically, only 1 in 165 girls are diagnosed with autism as opposed to 1 in 42 males.
This is troubling because, as a BBC documentary released this year uncovered, autism is highly under-diagnosed in girls and women. It’s not because it’s a ‘boy thing’, quite the contrary, girls are highly skilled in camouflaging feelings and thoughts and blending in. Many get diagnosed late in life or not at all and this can have devastating impacts on their lives as they struggle to understand why it’s harder for them to do specific things than it is for other people. As one of them described it, ‘As a child I’d felt as though everyone but me had been given a manual on how to behave around other people.’. As we read through their stories and pair them up with what we scientifically know about the autism spectrum, it deepens the gap which everyone so optimistically thought we are near to closing.
Because of unmet needs such as these and many others which are far less hidden, having a safe environment where developmental, social and cognitive skills are being nurtured in a way that makes children with autism understand and feel comfortable with. As a parent, wanting the very best for your child is undoubtedly the main priority. But it is not smooth sailing for everyone: 72% of Canadian parents who have children with autism feel like schools are not offering the appropriate level of support and while 60% were told their child needs one-on-one educational support, only 17% actually benefit from that. Over half (65%) also feel like their kid’s teachers do not know enough about autism which impairs the way they approach teaching.
The GABA school has been designed to meet these concerns and more. Built on years and years of experience and working only with experts in autism, the initiative works to tackle the most common challenges as well as the ones that are hidden.
Company Name: Therapy Spot
Contact Person: Simone Friedman
Email: Send Email
Address:1232 Dufferin St
State: Ontario M6H 4C3