Sunday 2 April is World Autism Awareness Day. In Australia approximately 1 in 70 people are on the autism spectrum.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects how a person thinks, feels and interacts with others and experiences their environment. It is a lifelong disability that starts when a person is born and stays with them in to old age.

Every autistic person is different to every other. This is why autism is described as a spectrum.

Talking to people with autism - While no two people with autism have the same language and social skills, the following guidelines can help ensure conversations go as smoothly as possible.

  • Address the individual as you would any other person their age, do not assume the person has limited cognitive skills
  • Say what you mean. Be literal, clear and concise. Avoid the use of slang, nuance and sarcasam as they may be confusing
  • Take time to listen. This lets people know that you care and support them
  • If you ask a question, wait for a response. Somethings individuals with autism need a little more time to absorb and process information.
  • Eye contact is not necessary for engagement for many people living with autism For more information visit Autism Spectrum Australia

Download Fact Sheet(PDF, 601KB)



I am Charlotte. I have lived in Bathurst all of my life. I do heaps of drama and dance lessons and enjoy working on shows. I love the opportunities for drama classes and shows in Bathurst.

I was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 7. I also have anxiety and sensory processing disorder as well as a learning difficulty.

I am currently training my dog Edward through Mind Dog Australia so he can be my assistance dog. Edward is a great help when I get anxious and overwhelmed. He comes up to me and climbs on to my chest and I end up in fits of giggles and it makes me calm down. We got Edward from the Bathurst Pound and we can’t understand why someone gave him up, he is amazing.

I am just a normal kid and I don’t like to show my disability in public. I don’t like to be treated differently. For example, when I get anxious in public, I don’t like people looking at me like I am a naughty kid. And when Edward is with me I don’t like people assuming he isn’t mind. People tend to think because I look ‘normal’ that I don’t need him.



What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I fly my Bristol plane at Learn 2 Fly, where I have been flying since 2016. I also work on a Friday at Learn 2 Fly with my flight instructor Lauren.

I have just taken my second unsupported domestic flight to see my siblings and now feel confident to continue to travel solo where I can.

I love travelling and am currently on a 3-day cruise enjoying life.

I drive to my work, Café on Corporation, the shops, gym and other places on my own. Previously I drove my Corolla, I now drive my Tarago.

At the Café on Corporation I can take customer orders and then make their bacon and egg rolls or other things they like.

I enjoy keeping fit at the gym, where I use the treadmill, cross trainer, bike and rowing machine.

I love listening to music and I like watching movies to relax. Some of my favourites are Monster House and Shrek.

I also enjoy gardening, growing vegetables and sunflowers out at my farm with my friend Fiona. I also enjoy looking after my chickens and for a short time I did sell my farm eggs to my friends.

What would you like to achieve in the next couple of years?

After saving and buying my Tarago in November 2022, I am now saving for my next goal which is to buy a house on the Gold Coast.

I would like to go back to America, revising my two favourite places New York and Los Angeles.

I would like to fly Qantas too.

What are your biggest achievements?

I passed my driving test January 2021 and got my Red P’s. I have no restrictions on my driver’s license.

I was inspired to drive on my own after realising that my friend and work mate Josh was also driving on his own, I thought I had to wait for my black license to do this.

I saved and bought my Tarago in November 2022 after I sold my Corolla.

To celebrate my new Tarago, I took my best friend Mitchell on a lap around Mt. Panorama.

I have now been working at Café on Corporation three days per week for the last two years. I love working and helping people.

I am very good at remembering jobs once I have had a couple of practices.

I start very early two morning per week, getting out of bed at 6am and leaving home on my own to drive to work.

Carol and Tania use to pick me up and I am very excited that I can show my work friends and my parents that I am able to drive on my own. I am now in my third year of driving with my Green Ps.

My biggest achievement has been to build confidence within my close circle and particular my parents, that I can drive, travel and enjoy things without constantly having others with my.

What do you want people to know about people with Autism?

We are all very much individuals and have lots of skills, traits, likes and dislikes just like anyone else.

A diagnosis does not define who we are or who we will become.

When I was young I use to sit within a group setting and not really say a lot, many people referred to me as non-verbal.

But I have kicked a lot of goals, again with very little speech.

I guess you need to understand that just because people with Autism can have little/or no speech doesn’t mean they do not understand what is happening around them and that they are able to learn and achieve like anyone else.

If we are surrounded by a community full of people who are ready to foster interests and give opportunities.

Anything is possible….