Community is also important for those living with autism

The research of eNET and Magyar Telekom analyzed autism related knowledge and attitudes among adult internet users, as to what respondents think of the relations between autistic people and the community. The life quality of young autistic people returning to the special communities even after school age or those moving in special homes can be maintained or even improved.

Community is also important for those living with autism The research of eNET and Magyar Telekom revealed that 42% of interviewees would welcome an autistic adult in their neighborhood. There is no high resistance to the option of having a family raising an autistic child in the neighborhood either (9%), or the interviewed adults’ children having an autistic classmate (14%). 25% of the respondents definitely disagrees with the statement that autistic people would be unable to integrate in a community. The ratio of those uncertain about this question is relatively high, 37%.

Research finding lead to the conclusion that many do not know autism as a phenomenon, therefore they are lacking any positive or negative assumptions concerning autistic persons. Those having an autistic person among their acquaintances would accept an autistic person as neighbor, colleague or classmate for their children at a higher percent, as opposed to those lacking any personal experiences. This indicates that raising awareness about autism and personal experiences are important elements to acceptance.

How to proceed?

Although the majority of those interviewed would welcome an autistic person as a neighbor or in a school class, in 75% people do not consider caring for an autistic person in a normal housing environment the best solution, neither from the autistic person’s or from their family members’ aspect. Autistic people entering their young adult age face the biggest challenge when turning 16, when obligatory schooling age is over and they may be released from the educational community. In case of more serious cases young people may become intensely isolated and their status may deteriorate. At this point, most autistic patients remain in general purpose institutions also caring for people living with other deficiencies, without specific care for their individual needs – or continue living with their parents, without any connection with people of their age, principally also defining the life of their immediate family members, often requiring the presence of one or both parents. Special homes are largely needed though, as many autistic patients are unable to carry an individual life. In special homes concentrated attention can be provided to autistic young people, considering the inmates’ difficulties with interaction.

Jaksity György, founder of the Autistic Art –Mosoly Otthon Foundation said concerning the survey: „Autism is a spectrum related disorder, in other words there are milder cases and such young people – being the overwhelming majority – who are unable to carry an individual life. Special residential homes offer an environment that meets all their needs, where they receive professional care and where they can develop. Caring for an autistic young person – depending on the severity of the case – may be a huge burden on family members, and in some cases the appropriate care simply cannot be provided at home”.

Somorjai Éva, chief HR officer of Magyar Telekom said: „An open social environment is the primary precondition to such an exposed group as the autistic people being able to pursue a quality life even beyond their childhood. In line with its commitment for sustainability, Magyar Telekom attaches importance to initiatives bringing people closer to each other, especially in the case of autistic patients facing communication and social challenges. Currently about 60 thousand children and adults are diagnosed with autism in Hungary, which is a very high number. Therefore it is important for all of us to have proper knowledge about them, as we can only offer solutions this way, that truly help them in establishing a quality life.”

Magyar Telekom established a strategic NGO cooperation agreement with the Autistic Art – Mosoly Otthon Foundation on March 30, in order to raise awareness about the importance of the social acceptance of autism.

Autism is the disorder of brain functions influencing basic development areas, maintaining all through the life, impacting communication and social behavior, resulting in the inflexibility of thinking and behavior.

Further information: http://www.telekom.hu/rolunk/fenntarthatosag and

http://autisticart.hu/moha/

Briefly about the research background: eNET completed the survey involving 1,212 internet users, over the age of 18, and carried out the research in March, 2016 related to autism. The survey was carried out among the online community members of Véleményem Van (Veva.hu). Data represent the opinion of Hungarian internet users by gender, age and region, over the age of 18.

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