Autism Knowledge Questionnaire Essay

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Autism Knowledge Questionnaire: How Much Do People Know About Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder which is associated with social skills, communication and behavioural impairments. Persons with ASD must exhibit social communication deficits and restricted and repetitive behaviour, which would be assessed on a severity ranking (American Psychological Association, 2013). The rate of autism has grown dramatically during the last decade and is becoming more widespread worldwide. In 2012, the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) reported an estimated a 79% increase in the prevalence of ASD among Australians from 64,400 people in 2009 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014).
The increasing prevalence
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The AKQ could include more items on the diagnostic criteria of autism and could assess respondents’ knowledge on the symptoms of autism. Items could also test on the diagnostic criteria from previous editions of DSM to assess how current respondents’ knowledge on autism is. The AKQ could have more items on common misperceptions of autism such as the common myth that vaccination causes autism. Dichotomous scale of the AKQ could be changed to a 4-point Likert Scale to prevent guessing of the answer, with 1 – Agree, 2 – Somewhat agree, 3 – Somewhat disagree, 4 – Disagree. This would give room for uncertain answers yet prevent neutral answers from …show more content…
An up-to-date and standardized test could assess and recognize common misconceptions and outdated views of autism. These findings would aid in raising awareness of autism in the general public and advocating efforts. Educators would be able to identify the shortcomings of their programmes and improve the effectiveness of their programmes. Raising awareness in the public could increase their understanding towards people with autism and be more accepting towards them. This would decrease discrimination and promote a safe and inclusive environment for people with autism. Assessing the public’s knowledge on the symptoms and signs of autism would lead to parents being able to better identify early onset of autism, allowing for early

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