World Autism Awareness is being celebrated all around the world today, encouraging everyone to take measures to raise acceptance about people with autism throughout the world.
The day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution "62/139. World Autism Acceptance Day", passed in council on 1 November 2007, and adopted on 18 December 2007.
What is autism?
Autism is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact. It refers to a lifelong brain development disorder that affects social interactions, learning, routines and communication. It is estimated that approximately 1 percent of the global population is autistic.
Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills' and sensory sensitivities.
The World Health Organization for Autism awareness recommends:
- Monitoring of child development as part of routine maternal and child health care is recommended.
- the health-care needs of people with ASD are complex and require a range of integrated services, including health promotion, care, rehabilitation services, and collaboration with other sectors such as the education, employment and social sectors.
- Evidence-based psychosocial interventions, however, such as behavioural treatment and skills training programmes for parents and other caregivers, can reduce difficulties in communication and social behavior, with a positive impact on the person's wellbeing and quality of life.
People with ASD are often subject to stigma and discrimination, including unjust deprivation of health, education and opportunities to engage and participate in their communities.
The 2018 World Autism Awareness Day observance at United Nations Headquarters New York will focus on the importance of 'empowering women and girls with autism' and involving them and their representative organizations in policy and decision making to address these challenges.
Girls with disabilities are less likely to complete primary school and more likely to be marginalized or denied access to education. Women with disabilities have a lower rate of employment than men with disabilities and women without disabilities.
Globally, women are more likely to experience physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence than men, and women and girls with disabilities experience gender-based violence at disproportionately higher rates and in unique forms owing to discrimination and stigma based on both gender and disability.
As a result of inaccessibility and stereotyping, women and girls with disabilities are persistently confronted with barriers to sexual and reproductive health services and to information on comprehensive sex education, particularly women and girls with intellectual disabilities including autism.
This day is especially dedicated to enhance understanding about Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders and bringing awareness to everyone. People with ASD should not be left out of activities just because they have differing social skills and intellectual abilities.
It's time to stop judging people with their differences and embrace them the way they are.