World Autism Awareness Day
Autism is a developmental disability that remains with a person for his or her whole life. This condition affects the brain's functions. The first signs usually appear before a child is three years old. People with autism often:
- Find social interaction difficult.
- Have problems with verbal and non-verbal communication.
- Demonstrate restrictive and repetitive behavior.
- Have a limited set of interests and activities.
Autism affects girls and boys of all races and in all geographic regions and has a large impact on children, their families, communities, and societies. The prevalence is currently rising in many countries around the world. Caring for and educating children and young people with this condition places challenges on health care, education and training programs.
Throughout its history, the United Nations family has celebrated diversity and promoted the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities, including learning differences and developmental disabilities. In 2008, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force, reaffirming the fundamental principle of universal human rights for all. Its purpose is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity. It is a vital tool to foster an inclusive and caring society for all and to ensure that all children and adults with autism can lead full and meaningful lives.
On November 1, 2007, the United Nations (UN) called for one day each year to be designated as World Autism Day. On December 18, 2007, the UN General Assembly designated April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day. It was first observed in 2008.
Autism is mainly characterized by its unique social interactions, non-standard ways of learning, keen interests in specific subjects, inclination to routines, challenges in typical communications and particular ways of processing sensory information.
The rate of autism in all regions of the world is high and the lack of understanding has a tremendous impact on the individuals, their families and communities.
The stigmatization and discrimination associated with neurological differences remain substantial obstacles to diagnosis and therapies, an issue that must be addressed by both public policy-makers in developing nations, as well as donor countries.
The thirteenth annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2020.