World Autism Awareness Day- April 2

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We have celebrated  World Autism Awareness Day every year since 2008, on April 2. Autism is a neurological condition that manifests as a range of behaviours falling under  what is called an Autism spectrum.

We interact with one another through touch, talk, sight, crying, laughing and reacting to others. Autistic people interact socially with others in their own special ways.

They are not mentally challenged but are blessed with their  unique perceptions of the world. Autistic people  learn in ways different from what we are familiar with. They are creatures of habit and disruptions in routines can disrupt their world, leading to unusual reactions and repetitive sounds.

That the number of persons with autism is high the world over is evidenced by the fact that the UN has dedicated one day for people to understand about this widespread disease.

The UN hopes that by creating awareness , the stigma and discrimination associated with this disease will be decreased and there will be a time when autistic people are accepted into mainstream society.

Schools, home, and communities  were forced to close down during COVID which  widened  the gaps between autistic and non- autistic people.

Inclusive education is the theme of the 2022 World Autism Awareness Day. Last year, the theme was ” Inclusion in the Workplace”. Including autistic people in quality education so they can fulfill their potential and achieve sustainable success in the labor market is a goal of the 2022 Autism Awareness Day .

What should we be aware of?

  1. That autism is a long-term neurological condition.
  2. It has a range of symptoms and skills that fall within it. They might have problems in communicating the traditional way or feel anxious in unknown environments.
  3. They are often unable to express themselves with words or through touch or facial expressions or gestures.
  4. This could start even from birth or before the age of 3.
  5. Autistic people show repetitive behaviour and they can be disturbed by changes in routines or schedules.

Can we do anything ?

There are medicines, and supportive treatment for autism. Behavioral and psychological support is key to make autistic people function as productive members of society. Society, don’t be ashamed when your relative is diagnosed with autism. They need our support and understanding

 

Anjum John

 

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