World Autism Awareness Day falls on Saturday 2 April. This year’s theme focuses on inclusive quality education for all, ensuring that no one is left behind.
According to the UN, “Over the past decade, major progress has been made towards increasing access to education generally, as well as for persons with autism specifically. However, in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, a majority of countries announced the temporary closure of schools, impacting more than 90 per cent of students worldwide. The disruption in learning caused by the pandemic has reversed years of progress and has exacerbated inequalities in education. Many students with autism have been especially hard hit and studies show that they have been disproportionately affected by disruptions to routines, as well as services and supports that they rely on.”
Luckily, the Gold Coast has fared relatively well during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many schools and child care services remaining open. During such a stressful time of uncertainty for many families, Ashton’s Place has been able to continue providing meaningful early intervention experiences to children on the autism spectrum through the ACE Programme. We have managed to keep the experiences and routines of these children stable and predictable.