We are dedicated to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society. Working diligently to bring hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder and are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals.
The Puzzle Foundation aims to bring the autism community together as one strong voice to hopefully urge the government and private sector to listen to our concerns and take action to address this urgent global health crisis. It is our firm belief that, working together, we will find the missing pieces of the puzzle.
What Is Autism?
Autism is a neurobehavioral disorder that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviours. The disorder covers a large spectrum of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment. It ranges in severity from a handicap that somewhat limits an otherwise normal life to a devastating disability that may require institutional care.
The occurrence of autism has increased by 500% over the past five years and currently one out of every 52 children in South Africa is affected by this neurological disorder.
Research has shown that early intervention can result in as many as 48% of diagnosed children being mainstreamed into regular schools, which will have a more positive impact on the long term education and employment statistics.
It has been calculated that it costs a family approximately R3-million (over and above the normal expenses) to raise a child on the autism spectrum per year, as treatments are specialised and very expensive. However, if early intervention is received, the cost comes down to R1-million.
Autism does not discriminate between racial, ethnic or social boundaries, family income, lifestyle or education. It CAN affect anyone.
With this in mind, we respectfully request any assistance you may be able to offer us.