[singlepic id=331 w=320 h=240 float=left]Disability Services Minister Curtis Pitt will join parents of children with autism on a twilight climb of the Story Bridge to mark the start of national Autism Awareness month.

Minister Pitt is encouraging the community to show their support for people with autism during April.

“Autism affects one in 160 children in Australia. It’s more common than cerebral palsy, diabetes, deafness, vision impairment and leukaemia combined. It lasts a lifetime, with no known cure,” Mr Pitt said.

Mr Pitt said the State Government has a range of early intervention services to support children with autism and their families.

“Early intervention is important. It can help children with a disability reach key milestones, improve their communication, social skills and behaviours and help them integrate better in their communities.

“Our aim is to help is to help more children than ever through our Autism Early Intervention initiative. It’s about giving children and their families access to support services in their local community,” he said.

“It can be a challenge raising a child with autism and that’s where organisations such as AEIOU and Autism Queensland play important roles. They are able to reach out with the right support at the right time,” he said.

Mr Pitt said the State Government’s Autism Early Intervention program has a budget of $4 million and supports around 340 children with autism across Queensland.

Information on government and community programs and services for families with children with autism is available at www.qld.gov.au/disability

In recognition of Autism Awareness month, people can donate to Autism Queensland at www.autismqld.com.au