ALUT Children’s Excursion to Sataf .
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The Israeli Society for Autistic Children (ALUT) is holding its annual donation day on Tuesday. Thousands of children are planning to knock on doors throughout the country, asking for contributions to the organization.
In addition, the nonprofit organization released a survey ahead of the day regarding the Israeli public’s attitudes and knowledge regarding autism.
According to the survey, the majority of the public, some 82%, understand why employers are unwilling to hire people with autism.
Yet, despite this, 98% of the Israeli public believes with autism can serve in the IDF or in National Service. Of these, 86% believe autistic people can volunteer for both, while 10% believe that people with autism should only be allowed to serve in National Service.
“This is the first survey that offers a glimpse into the sentimental familiarity and understanding towards people with autism,” ALUT CEO Eitan Mizrahi said.
“On the one hand, it is encouraging that youth reveal a positive attitude towards integration, on the other hand I am sure that when employers will recognize the characteristics and indicators of the disability they will also recognize the benefits that adults with autism bring to work and to the economy,” he said.
The survey also found that 52% of the public knows someone with autism, though 89% said they could understand why a family with an autistic child would want to hide this fact.
Furthermore, 97% of the public have a positive attitude regarding having an autistic neighbor, and more than a third, some 40% said they would try to help them integrate in the neighborhood.
Regarding education, the survey found that 73% of respondents are in favor of integrating pupils with autism into the mainstream education system and would approve of a child with autism sitting next to their child in class.
Additionally, 92% of the general public supports testing for autism during pregnancy, including 83% of the ultra-Orthodox public.
While no screening method for autism during pregnancy is currently available, it is estimated that such a genetic test could be available in some five years, according to the organization.
Each year ALUT holds its donation day in order to raise funds for its activities, including building centers and schools, taking autistic children on field trips and paying for other additional initiatives.
According to the organization, one out of every 100 babies is diagnosed with autism each year and statistics show that the numbers will continue to grow.