World Autism Awareness Day 2024

World Autism Awareness Day 2024
2 Apr 2024
9 mins
Table Of Content
World Autism Awareness Day 2024

    Together We Stand For A World Of Difference!


    Although autism was first diagnosed in the 1940s, only a 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. The 16th annual World Autism Awareness Day was observed this year.

    History Of World Autism Day 


    The United Nations designated April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day in its 76th plenary meeting on December 18th, 2007; it has been observed every year since 2008. The aim of World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) is to call attention to the difficulties that persons with autism and others who live with autism endure daily.  

    In 2024, the United Nations Departments of Global Communications and Economic and Social Affairs organized World Autism Awareness Day in collaboration with the Institute Of Neurodiversity (ION), an organization formed and maintained by neurodiverse people for neurodiverse people and their supporters. The conference aimed to protect and ensure equal human rights and freedom to promote the dignity of people with disabilities. 

    What is Autism?


    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often called developmental syndrome marked by a wide variety of social and emotional traits that can interfere with daily functioning and range in severity. The disorder is classified as developmental because the behaviors frequently arise in the first 24 months of life.


    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 behavior. People with autism experience difficulty maintaining communication in a social setting. Most people with autism spectrum disorder exhibit the following behavioral 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 behaviors
    • Upset even with slight changes in routine
    • High or low sensitivity to light, noise, and temperature


    The Need To Celebrate World Autism Day


    World Autism Day is dedicated to people with autism, aiming to celebrate their strengths and help them achieve their maximum potential. Celebrating world autism day will make this world a better place for people battling autism. The rate of autism is increasing daily, and it becomes tricky if one is unaware of its symptoms, warning signs, diagnosis, and treatment options.

    World Autism Day Theme 2024


    This year's World Autism Awareness Day 2024 theme is" Empowering Autistic Voice," a call to raise autism awareness and acceptance of autistic people in society and the workplace. Autism awareness also helps accelerate action and multidisciplinary collaboration by ensuring autism-friendly policies at work and in the arts.

    Prevalence Of Autism In India

    Autism affects anyone irrespective of their race, ethnicity, and economic status. Autism is the world's third most common developmental disorder, a neurological illness that typically shows up by the age of three. Autism is estimated to affect approximately 18 million people in India. ASD affects between 1% and 1.5 percent of children aged 2 to 9. Around 10% of school-aged children have mild to severe learning disabilities.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 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. 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.

    Causes And Risk Factors Of Autism


    The exact cause of autism remains unknown. However, scientists speculate a possible interaction between genes and the 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

    Treatment and Intervention Services for Autism Spectrum Disorder


    Treatments for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) aim to help reduce symptoms that make daily life difficult. ASD affects each person differently, so treatment plans are personalized. Different professionals may be involved, and treatment can happen in various settings like schools, healthcare facilities, or homes. 


    As people with ASD transition into adulthood, additional services may be necessary to improve their health, daily functioning, and social engagement. This could include support with education, job training, finding employment, and securing housing and transportation.

    Types of Treatments


    1. Behavioral Approaches: Focus on changing behaviors by understanding what triggers them and what follows. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a standard method that encourages desired behaviors through rewards and discourages undesired behaviors. There are different styles of ABA, like discrete trial training (DTT) and picture exchange communication systems (PECS).

    2. Developmental Approaches: These approaches aim to improve specific skills, such as language or physical abilities. Speech and Language Therapy helps with communication skills, while Occupational Therapy helps with daily tasks like dressing and eating.

     3. Educational Approaches: Given in a classroom setting, these methods, like the TEACCH approach, adapt the learning environment to suit the needs of autistic individuals, often using visual aids and consistent routines.

     4. Social-relational approaches: These approaches focus on improving social skills and building emotional connections. Methods like Floortime and Social Stories help individuals engage socially and understand social situations better.

     5. Pharmacological Approaches: Medications can help manage symptoms like anxiety or depression that often accompany ASD. Working with a knowledgeable doctor to monitor any medication's effects is essential.

     6. Psychological Approaches: Therapies like Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) help individuals manage mental health issues like anxiety or depression by understanding and changing their thoughts and behaviors.

     7. Complementary and Alternative Treatments: These include therapies like special diets, herbal supplements, or animal therapy, often used alongside more traditional treatments. It's essential to consult with a doctor before trying any alternative therapies.


    What Can You Do This World Autism Awareness Day 2024?


    On April 2nd, light up blue in honor of those with autism and those who care for and support them. On World Autism Awareness Day, join the localities throughout the globe in bringing awareness to the autism community. Donating gifts to people with autism is one of the easiest ways to contribute to autism awareness. If you are diagnosed with autism, share your story on social media to spread awareness about the condition and break the stigma.

    Written by
    Dr. VijayalakshmiMedical Content Writer
    AboutDr. Vijayalakshmi is a Medical Content Writer at MrMed. She completed her Bachelor of Dentistry (BDS) from Sri Ramakrishna Dental College, Coimbatore, in 2022, where she expertise in dental and clinical research. During her internship, she has also worked on various research projects and presented scientific papers in national UG seminars. Post her UG, she has upskilled in pharmacovigilance regulations and clinical trial methodology through certification courses. She is proficient in researching, writing, editing, and proofreading medical content and blogs.
    Tags :world autism day autism spectrum disorderautism symptoms