AUTISM AWARENESS - spread it now!

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AUTISM AWARENESS- spread it now!


Published Date: Apr 26, 2013

 

Shanthi Shivan – Special Educator

The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2nd  April as World Autism Awareness Day in the year 2007. Articles relating to autism are appearing in the print and net to create awareness and to sensitise people about autism.

What is autism?

Autism is a developmental disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life.   Autism Spectrum disorders have a range of 3 central symptoms (triad of impairments) all of which are present to some degree. The three symptoms are impairments in social communication, social interaction and social imagination. There are more cases of autism in boys than in girls.

Cure for Autism

There may be no known cure for autism, but early intervention and identification are considered the most important factors influencing the long-term outcome in children with developmental disabilities. Unfortunately, many go undiagnosed and this prevents early intervention. Autism should not be confused with Mental Retardation and people should refrain from using like words “ Kuch Mental Hai”. Instead empathy is the need of the hour.

Autism in India

One of the major difficulties faced by parents of children with autism in India is obtaining an accurate diagnosis. Most parents are bound by social stigma, social status and are not in a position to accept that their child has a problem and he/she is different from others around. They are not ready to seek professional help, instead resort to quick-fix remedies with their roots in superstitions. Once the parents are ready to accept that their child has autism, then a lot of intervention programmes can be put in place to help the child lead a normal, healthy life.

How you can help?

Autistic children have a bright personality and their approach to many things in life is different.  Inspite of having delayed speech, poor response and even lack of expression, some children with autism have high IQ and do very well academically. Some world famous autistic celebrities include Daniel Tammet- writer, linguist, educator and Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon.

Awareness to autism can be created only if we wake up to the reality that autism exists. We need to work differently to make autistic people comfortable and give their place in the sun. Let us work towards making people with autism independent and self worthy so that they are valuable contributors in society. Let’s not depend on movies alone to propagate the awareness about autism. 


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