Does Autism Treatment Lead to Awareness or Ignorance?

Photo of author

( — June 2, 2015) Gladesville, NSW — The rise of Autism in the world is still a mystery. Regardless of the cause, the numbers continue to project Autism as the fastest-growing developmental disability, according to the CDC. In the U.S. alone, children on the spectrum increased by 119.4 percent from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68).

Public awareness regarding autism has grown in recent years, but the full understanding of what it is and how we, as a society deal with it, is still in its infancy. Like any disorder, there are varying ranges of impact on a person. People with autism are impacted and classified on a ‘spectrum.’

While the most apparent manifestation of autism is behavioral and communication differences, 40% of the individuals have average to above average intelligence. Many of those on the spectrum are exceptional in visual skills, music, and academia.

According to, Autism is a complex of general disorders in the brain, characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal-nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. The disorder itself has roots in early brain development, but doesn’t show signs and symptoms until the child is between the ages of two and three years old.

It seems all who are involved with the disorder do more than simply care for or treat individuals. From parents to activists, everyone who is touched by Autism seems to champion the cause to a broader audience. Karen Wong, co-creator of The Learning Clinic stated, “It is a part of our mission to educate the wider community on autism, special needs, inclusion and evidence based intervention,” The Learning Clinic is one of the few centers where parents can receive highly customized curriculum to treat their child’s autism. The Learning Clinic prides itself on delivering treatment respectfully; focusing on building strong, trusting relationships and creating fun learning environments.

While people like Wong focus on treatment, most of the population is still in the dark on how to deal with autistic people; socially and in business. A recent police stop in the United States of an Autistic man resulted in excessive force upon the suspect. Nobody was seriously injured, but the fact remains officers were ignorant as to tell the difference between Autism or a drug-induced behavior.

Practitioners like Wong believe focusing on improving communication will do more in the long run to help others. “Speech and Language are often primary areas of concerns when we first meet a family with a child with autism, it is one of the core areas of the TLC curriculum and often the first area we build prerequisite skills for when we design an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) program and remains a large focus throughout the duration of the program,” said Wong.

One of the unique aspects The Learning Clinic provides is progression learning. The curriculum uses imitating sounds and builds upon that to teach how to ask for highly preferred items and activities. Their team of therapists and psychologists work continuously to build upon the steadily increasing verbal skills of their clients.

It’s a slow road, with many bumps along the way, but for some parents, the rewards are priceless. One mother commented, “When I learnt that recovery from Autism was possible, I knew that we had to give my child every chance possible.  In 1 year and 4 months our son has gone from a vocabulary of 5 words to using 6 word sentences.”

Autism is affecting more members of our community than a decade or two ago. As awareness and education increases, people like Wong and her staff at The Learning Clinic are doing more than simply treating individuals.

They are changing how we all look at this disorder and making strides both individually and globally for all concerned.



About The Learning Clinic

The Learning Clinic has a long history of ABA services in Australia. We are one of Sydney’s oldest and most experienced ABA service providers, helping children, adolescents and adults with autism to learn, grow and succeed since January 1997.

The Learning Clinic

33/1 Jordan Street
Gladesville, NSW 2111
(02) 9817 7002