- The month of April is globally celebrated as World Autism Month
- Its purpose is to raise awareness about the autism spectrum disorder (ASD), especially in autistic children
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological disorder that causes restrictive behavior and impairs social communication. According to a 2022 study, autism impacts 1–2% of the global population—especially children.
In recent years, an autistic culture has emerged, fostering autistic rights and neurodiversity movements like autism awareness month, autreat, etc. To raise awareness about the disorder and its mental health challenges, the United Nations (UN) declared the 2nd of April as World Autism Day. The entire month of April was further declared as World Autism Month.
Children With Autism
In India, autism affects 23 out of every 10,000 children. Autistic children usually experience impairments in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behavior. They face difficulties related to cognition, emotional regulation, and social interaction. Research shows that they are also more prone to mental health issues like anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, depression, etc.
Helping Autistic Children
It is not easy living with autism. It also gets particularly difficult for parents of autistic children, who live under enormous societal pressure and are always apprehensive about their children’s future. So, this Autism Awareness Month, let us come together to protect and better the mental health of a child struggling with autism. We can do this by:
- Fostering social acceptance
- Adopting a loving and understanding approach towards autistic children
- Helping them avail therapy (like speech and language therapy, sensory integration therapy, social skills training, etc.) and medication
- Making sure they enjoy consistent guidance and interaction; and
- Being patient and empathetic with them throughout their lives
Autism is a pervasive disorder and it is only our joined efforts and acceptance that can make the world a better place for autistic people.
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