Health Watch
Highlights :
  • Every year, April 2nd is observed as World Autism Awareness Day
  • Aims to create awareness about autism and people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Theme for the year 2020 is "The Transition to Adulthood"

World Autism Awareness Day observed on 2nd April every year, encourages Member States of the United Nations to take measures to create awareness about autism and people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) worldwide.

Autism - 2020 Marks Thirteen Years of Celebration

Autism is a developmental disability that affects the brain's function and first signs usually appear before the child turns three.
World Autism Awareness Day


World Autism Awareness Day was first observed on 18th December 2007. The UN General Assembly designated April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day. This year marks the 13th year and on this day many organizations come together to aid in things like research, diagnoses and treatment. Also, people dress up in blue to raise awareness for the developmental disorder


Around the globe, the autism community is recognized with the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon of blue, red, yellow and purple pieces, which reflects the complexities and uniqueness of the autism spectrum. There is no better way in celebrating this day than becoming aware of the characteristics of autistic people.

Importance of Celebrating World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day aims to highlight the hurdles that people with autism and others are facing every day. People with ASD have specific characteristics, behaviors and ways to do things their way. Our role is to understand their way of seeing the world and help them learn, perform and excel well without trying to change their way of doing things.

At present, there are many ways to treat ASD, but the treatment can only made available when the person is diagnosed. Therefore, it is necessary for every individual to become aware about of autism and ASD to help recognize autistic people and get them connected to a specialist who can diagnose and start an early treatment

Early intervention can improve learning, communication skills and social skills and also the underlying brain development. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the most researched and commonly used behavioral intervention for autism. Many children can also benefit from other interventions like speech therapy and occupational therapy.

Facts and Statistics on Autism

  • In 2020 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that 1 in 54 children is diagnosed with an ASD
  • Boys are 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls
  • Autism can be diagnosed as early as age 2, but most children are diagnosed after age 4
  • About 31% of children with ASD have an intellectual disability, 25% are in the borderline range and 44% have IQ scores in the average to above average range, i.e., IQ >85.
  • Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups
  • Loss of skills affects around 1 in 5 children
  • Children with autism suffer from gastrointestinal disorders
  • More than half of autistic children have chronic sleep disorders
  • Early intervention can support healthy development all throughout their life

Ways to Involve in Creating Awareness on Autism

On World Autism Awareness Day, various autism-friendly events and activities are planned every year to increase general public's knowledge about autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These include:
  • Panel discussions with autism expert and non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives
  • Organizing informational events for parents of autistic children
  • Conferences and workshops for professionals who are working with people with autism
  • Artistic workshops can be organized for people with autism
  • Television and radio shows, newspaper features and social media can all be used to create awareness about people with autism and their lives
  • Educational materials can be launched and distributed to parents and teachers
  • Exhibitions of artwork done by artists with autism can also be organized
  • Displaying posters and banners to increase public awareness of autism
  • Create a fundraising page and donate

Conclusion

People with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can make a difference in the world. This year's celebrations take place in the midst of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a crisis that puts people with autism at disproportionate risk. Therefore, on this World Autism Awareness Day, let us take time to we recognize and celebrate the rights of persons with autism in the midst of the pandemic.

Let us stand together and show our support to people with autism!

References :
  1. World Autism Awareness Day - (https://www.autismspeaks.org/world-autism-awareness-day)
  2. World Autism Awareness Day - April 2, 2020 - (https://nationaltoday.com/world-autism-awareness-day/)
  3. A Guide For Transition to Adulthood - (https://researchautism.org/resources/a-guide-for-transition-to-adulthood/)
  4. 30 Facts about Autism - (https://www.massgeneral.org/children/autism/lurie-center/30-facts-to-know-about-autism-spectrum-disorder)


Source: Medindia

Most Popular on Medindia