World Autism Day 2022: Inclusive Quality Education For All
Although autism was first diagnosed in the 1940s, only few people knew it until the 1990s. Autism affects people in various degrees and forms, and each individual's experience with autism is unique. It is a neurological and developmental problem that affects how a person behaves and communicates. People with autism have a different way of learning and are more interested in routine activities.
Although there are several spectra of autism, they have some symptoms in common. Poor motor skills, delayed speech, difficulties with reasoning and narrow interests are some common symptoms among people with autism. The symptoms are noticeable in the first two years of life. Read further to understand all you need to know about autism and why we celebrate world autism day.
When Is World Autism Day Celebrated?
World autism day falls on 2nd April every year. The main goal of world autism day is to spread awareness about autism and reach out to people with autism. In 2008, the United Nations held a meeting to promote the rights of people with disabilities. The conference aimed to protect and ensure equal human rights and freedom to promote the dignity of people with disabilities.
The United Nations general assembly concluded the 2nd of April as world autism day to emphasise the need to enhance the quality of life of people with autism. This year marks the 15th world autism day.
The Need To Celebrate World Autism Day:
World Autism Day is dedicated to people who have autism and the aim is to celebrate their strength and help them achieve their maximum potential. Celebrating world autism day is to make this world a better place for people battling autism. The rate of autism is increasing day by day and it becomes extremely difficult if one is not aware of its symptoms, warning signs, diagnosis and treatment options.
Prevalence ofAutism in India:
Autism affects anyone irrespective of their race, ethnicity and economic status. India has an autism prevalence rate of 88.50 per 10000 children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that male children have higher chances of getting affected with autism because they are diagnosed more and female children do not show stereotypical symptoms. One of the main reasons the prevalence is increasing in other countries is the rising awareness among today's generation and the availability and access to diagnostic tests.
Unlike other countries, health insurance is not mandatory in India and access to healthcare is poor in remote areas. Not many are aware of autism in our country. It is reported that only 11 percent of kids with intellectual disabilities attend school. Since many studies about autism are conducted on school-going children, the exact prevalence in the Indian population will not tally with the reported majority.
Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder:
Autism symptoms extend across the lifespan. People with autism experience trouble throughout their bodies. They frequently experience problems involving the whole body like seizures, gastric upset, sleep disturbances, and eating problems. Other disorders accompanying autism include anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder. People with autism have half the lifespan of the general population.
Most of the autism spectrum disorder symptoms can be detected through behaviour. People with autism experience difficulty maintaining communication in a social setting. Most people with autism spectrum disorder exhibit the following behavioural symptoms:
- Little or inconsistent eye contact
- Not looking at or listening to people
- Back and forth conversations
- Slow or no response to people calling them
- Talking continuously without noticing if other people are interested in the conversation
- Unusual tone of voice
- Trouble understanding other people's perceptions
- Repetition of words and behaviours
- Upset even with slight changes in routine
- High or low sensitivity to light, noise and temperature
Causes And Risk Factors Of Autism:
The exact cause of autism remains unknown. Although scientists speculate a possible interaction between genes and environment. This interaction affects the development, resulting in autism. Some of the potential risk factors for autism spectrum disorder include:
- A sibling with autism spectrum.
- Having older parents
- Genetic conditions like down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and Rett syndrome.
- Low body weight at birth
What Can You Do This World Autism Day?
"Inclusive quality education for all" is the theme of this world autism day to promote the right to education for people with autism. This is to fight the bias in education and discrimination faced by people with autism due to their diagnosis. Although autism is incurable, therapies and medication help a lot in management of it.
Join a social media support group for autism and make a meaningful contribution through speech, posts, funds and donations. Donating gifts to people with autism is one of the easiest ways to contribute to world autism day. If you are diagnosed with autism, share your story on social media to spread awareness about the condition and break the stigma.