New Delhi: Every year on 2nd of April, World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated across the globe to raise awareness and understanding for people living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD is a developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.
It consists of a range of conditions, skills and levels of disability. Children with autistic disorder have difficulties relating to and communicating with other people.
Signs and symptoms of autism typically appear during the first three years of life, however, some children show signs from birth.
Signs of Autism can include:
- Repeated motions
- Avoiding eye contact or physical touch
- Delays in learning to talk
- Repeating words or phrases
- Getting upset by minor changes
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), people with ASD often have the following characteristics:
- Ongoing social problems that include difficulty communicating and interacting with others
- Repetitive behaviours as well as limited interests or activities
- Symptoms that typically are recognized in the first two years of life
- Symptoms that hurt the individual’s ability to function socially, at school or work, or other areas of life
- Learning disability or speech delay in a child
- Unaware of others' emotions or depression
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.