April the 2nd is popularly known worldwide as Autism Awareness Day, observed to show solidarity towards the brave yet unfortunate victims of Autism, a mental condition present in victims from early childhood, which increases in severity and the level of difficulty one faces while communicating and building relations with others.
The entire month of April is devoted to spreading awareness about Autism and helping people understand how to deal with what makes autistic individuals feel left out. Autism has a wide range of symptoms and conditions which all affect the victim in different ways. Apart from communication they might also experience over or under sensitivity in their basic senses i.e. light, colors, sound, smell, touch or even taste. If the victims are not able to cope well, they might as well need lifelong support.
The federal Centre for Disease Control and Prevention had recently given an estimate that almost 1% of Americans fall into the category of Autism Spectrum Disorder. In another survey by National Autistic Society, 1400 families were included in the survey. As the research was focused on schools, parents were interviewed about the behaviors of their school going children and 28 children were interviewed separately.
Similarly, in other countries, the civil society stands to be quite concerned on how to approach this matter. This is something which is not easily identified, some children display symptoms that are barely noticeable, and usually grow up to become successful adults, however, others do not. Such children face difficulty in achieving developmental milestones and are usually slow in picking up languages.
Autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong disease which affects seven out of thousand people, or in other words, there are 1.4 million people who have been diagnosed with Autism, the real figure might be even more. With all the advances in science and medical research we are still unable to identify what causes autism, but what we do know is that its impact can be minimized by giving careful attention during childhood and ensuring that a child is able to cope in his/her own way.
Parents must realize how special and unique their child is, and subsequently all of us should make sure that children are provided with the care and attention they seek and rightly deserve. Too much medical attention might not help the cause as it would make the child too conscious. So if children face difficulty in their development phase, we can facilitate them by teaching them in a way that suits them the best be it in an outdoor environment, or in isolation.
When children feel that things are getting easier for them, they tend to learn easily. When they feel someone really cares for them, they start to communicate more, as well. The world has many problems to deal with at the moment, and surely autism is an issue of global impact and needs to be fought with all hands available.
On 2nd April, autism was mentioned at the United Nations, on tv channels, on the worldwide web and even on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. It generated significant media cover, which is good. People now know the word. All we need now is for them to understand the condition and the incredible difficulties faced by families.