GUWAHATI, April 3 - To bring more awareness in society about autism, ensuring social inclusion of autistic people, a number of organizations working in the field organized different programmes on the occasion of World Autism Awareness Day yesterday.
Autism is a developmental disorder that can also be referred to a range of conditions characterized by difficulty in social skill, repetitive behaviour, speech and communication issues and restricted behaviour. The condition, on the other hand, is also characterized by some unique strengths and talents. Autism is a neuro-developmental condition with one in 68 children diagnosed with autism in India.
Shishu Sarothi, an organization working in the field of autism, mental and physical disabilities, etc, organized an event on the occasion at the Dighalipukhuri Park today. The event was addressed by Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup (M) Virendra Mittal, along with psychiatrist Dr Sumi Choudhury and clinical psychologist Nithi Sharma.
For the past 11 years, the autism awareness day is being observed on April 2 with a new theme that is selected every year depending on the prevailing social, economical and political challenges and concerns raised by people living with autism. This year�s theme is �Empowering women and girls with autism� to address the particular challenges they face, which limit them for enjoying their human rights and fundamental freedom.
In the Indian context, it is only in the past few decades that autism has gradually gained in awareness in the domains of diagnosis, treatment, human resources development and legislation. However, there are still a great number of misconceptions and lack of services owing to that lack of awareness.
Blue balloons, symbolising the colour of autism, marked the awareness day programme on the bank of Dighalipukhuri. Dignitaries present on the occasion hoped that increased awareness and access to appropriate support would create more understanding about autism in society. There was a musical performance by Amitabh Barooah and Naaz Sultana during the programme.
In another event, blue lamps were lighted to mark the inauguration of World Autism Awareness Day programme at the NEDFi Convention Centre here on Sunday.
Dr Shabina Ahmed, managing trustee, Assam Autism Foundation, gave a glimpse of the journey of AAF and its striving to provide children with autism and other developmental disabilities the best possible opportunities for functional support and training along with assistance in helping them reach their best potential. A recipient of the National Award for Child Welfare, Dr Ahmed has been instrumental in creating awareness about autism.
An exhibition of products made by autistic children, a talent show where autistic children participated, and a musical programme added glitter to the event.