City Hall turns Blue for World Autism Day

Lord Mayor of Cork City Cllr John Buttimer has welcomed plans by Cork
City Council to turn Cork City Hall Blue in recognition of
International Autism Day on the 2nd of August.

Cllr Buttimer, a clinical psychologist said that it was important to
focus attention on Autism because of the increasing number of children
being diagnosed with the condition each year.

Cllr Buttimer, said;

“Despite the increase in prevalence and diagnosis of individuals with
Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder there has not been a corresponding
increase in knowledge and understanding of members of the general
public. It is important that as a society we are more aware of the
needs of people with Autism and their families.”

Cllr Buttimer also said,

“It is also important that local authorities develop greater
understanding of Autism and other disabilities and that this increased
understanding has an impact on how local services are provided. Into
the future there will be a requirement for local authorities to
provide social housing for people with Autism and other disabilities.
People with Autism have different requirements in how they access and
avail of leisure and recreation and the services Cork City Council
provide have to be flexible and responsive to this.”

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder that affects the development
of the brain in areas of social interaction and communication and is
marked by severe difficulties in communicating and forming
relationships with people, in developing language and in using
abstract concepts. Characteristics include repetitive and limited
patterns of behaviour and obsessive resistance to tiny changes in
familiar surroundings or routines.

Autism is often referred to as the ‘hidden’ disability because people
who are on the autistic spectrum show no significant physical
difference to their peers, rather it is their behaviours that mark
them out as different. The 3 main areas of difficulty for people with
autism are referred to as the ‘triad of impairments’.

Social communication, Social interaction, and Social imagination

Photo: Gerard McCarthy

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