Every year since 2008, World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated on 2nd April to raise awareness about people living with autistic spectrum and Asperger’s disorders around the world.
Buildings, offices, homes, and communities come together on this day in recognition of people with autism. Autism-friendly events and awareness activities usually take place throughout the month as part of World Autism Awareness Month.
The aim is to increase awareness, understanding, and acceptance of autistic people as well as encouraging worldwide support and a more inclusive world.
The National Autistic Society explains it as a lifelong disability that affects communication and interaction with the world. There are almost 7 million autistic children and adults in the United Kingdom.
Autism is a spectrum disorder. All people with autism share certain difficulties and being autistic affects their lives in different ways. Some autistic people have mental health issues, learning disabilities and they need a different level of care and support. All people on the autism spectrum develop and learn.
A person living with autism includes asthma, allergies, epilepsy, fragile X, digestive disorder, bowel disease, feeding disorder, persistent viral infections, anxiety disorder, sleeping disorder, bipolar disorder, sensory integration dysfunction, and immune disorder, etc.
The theme of World Autism Awareness Day this year is ‘The Transition to Adulthood’. The transition to adulthood is a challenge for people with autism and therefore it draws attention to the adulthood stage of autistic people. Issues include the importance of community, participation in youth events, decision making, and education and how autistic people should have access to higher education and employment, alongside being able to live independently.
The symbol of the World Autism Awareness Day is represented by a rainbow infinity sign which represents “diversity with infinite possibilities and infinite variations”. This symbol represents the diversity of people with autism and the infinite variations and possibilities with the community of autistic people.
Doctors don’t know the actual cause of autism but they believe genetics can play an important role. In some rare cases, the child can be born with some birth defects, if the mother has been exposed to certain chemicals during pregnancy. But the doctor can’t tell if the baby will have autism or not so it can’t be prevented. You cannot prevent having a baby with autism but by following a healthy lifestyle, the possibility of having a normal healthy baby increases.
The National Autistic Society encourages the public to participate in autism awareness month, people across the UK participate in the activities to raise awareness and money for the society.
Although the country is currently under lockdown due to the ongoing crisis of coronavirus pandemic, the charity shares that there are still several ways of spreading awareness and getting support and advice from their charity during these hard times.
The organization says, “We need your help now more than ever to continue to provide support to autistic people and their families, who fear change and feel isolated more than most under normal circumstances. If you are in a position to do so, we’ve made it easy for you to do fundraising activities during the week from the safety of your home.”
Investment in the development of children having neurotypical disorders and those who are differently-abled is essential for meeting the development of global indicators and reducing inequities that lead to permanent poverty.
People who are differently-abled are equal citizens and are deserve basic human rights. Hence, more practical efforts are needed for people with autism or other disabilities as mandated by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).