The observance of World Autism Awareness Day began in 2008 as part of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with the purpose of ‘promoting, protecting and ensuring the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and promoting respect for their inherent dignity’. This year, the United Nations’s World Autism Awareness Day is observing “Empowering Women and Girls with Autism”. The UN recognises that women and girls with disabilities, including autism, face greater challenges than men with disability and women without disability, and will be addressing this at an event on 5 April.
However, it’s not just women and girls who face challenges due to disability. All people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience a range of symptoms with varying severity. Some of the symptoms affect sensory integration, social interactions and behavioural patterns, leading to social and educational challenges. Living with these challenges can be stressful both for those with ASD and their families. Fortunately, there are ways to redirect stress and even develop skills to overcome the challenges in future. A custom-designed therapeutic or sensory garden can offer a range of benefits for children with ASD, for example:
- Taking a break from the demands of indoor environments and reducing sensory input, thus avoid the sensory overload that many autistic children experience
- The chance to work on sensory integration strategies
- Engaging in directed or free-play activities.
Recognising the unique needs of children with ASD is empowering and allows them to develop skills that will improve their quality of life. To read more about the benefits of therapeutic gardens for children with ASD, buy our eBook Design Principles for Creating Therapeutic Gardens for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.