Today marks the eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day with focus on raising awareness and funds for research support. The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day (A/RES/62/139) to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of children and adults, who are affected by autism, so they can lead full and meaningful lives.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life. It results from a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, mostly affecting children and adults in many countries irrespective of gender, race or socio-economic status. It is characterized by impairments in social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication and restricted, repetitive behaviour, interests and activities.
Rate: The rate of autism in all regions of the world is high and it has a tremendous impact on children, their families, communities and societies.
Impact: It can bring significant economic hardships to families, given the lack of health resources often found in developing countries. The stigmatization and discrimination associated with these illnesses also remain substantial obstacles to diagnosis and treatment. The absence of autism spectrum disorders and other mental disorders among children from lists of the leading causes of death has contributed to their long-term neglect by both public policy-makers in developing countries, as well as donors.
How can you help?
- Support research efforts
- Support fund-raising initiatives
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