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AFRLUENCER Commemorates The World Autism Awareness

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Autism
Autism

The World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated annually on April 2. It is a day of raising awareness about autistic individuals globally. The campaign was proposed by the UN representative for Qatar Moza bint Nasser Al-Missned. She proposed autism resolutions to the United Nations General Assembly on 1 November 2007. The resolutions were passed and adopted without a vote, as a supplement to previous UN initiatives to improve human rights. 18 December 2007 saw the officially adoptation of the campaign becoming one of only seven official health-specific UN Days.

The original autism awareness resolution of 2007 had main components:

  • the establishment of the second day of April as World Autism Awareness Day, beginning in 2008
  • invitation to UN Member States or the international societal system, including NGOs and the Private Sector, to create initiatives to raise public awareness of autism
  • encouragement of UN Member States to raise awareness of autism on all levels in society
  • asking the UN Secretary General to spread autism awareness to all UN members and organizations

What is Autism?

Autism (scientifically known as Autism Spectrum Disorder) is a developmental disability due differences in the brain. People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. People with ASD may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention. It is important to note that some people without ASD might also have some of these symptoms. But for people with ASD, these characteristics can make life very challenging.

Social Communication And Interaction Skills Of Autistic Individuals

  • Avoids or does not keep eye contact
  • Does not respond to name by 9 months of age
  • Does not show facial expressions like happy, sad, angry, and surprised by 9 months of age
  • Does not play simple interactive games like pat-a-cake by 12 months of age
  • Uses few or no gestures by 12 months of age (for example, does not wave goodbye)
  • Does not share interests with others by 15 months of age (for example, shows you an object that they like)
  • Does not point to show you something interesting by 18 months of age
  • Does not notice other children and join them in play by 36 months of age
  • Does not pretend to be something else, like a teacher or superhero, during play by 48 months of age
  • Does not sing, dance, or act for you by 60 months of age

Restricted or Repetitive Behaviors or Interests of Autism Patients.

People with the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have behaviors, phobias or interests that can seem unusual. The common include the fear of toilet, mechanical things, vacuum cleaners, elevators, mechanical toys, swings, and the wind. These behaviors or interests set ASD apart from conditions defined by problems with social communication and interaction only.

Examples of restricted or repetitive behaviors and interests related to ASD can include

  • Repeats words or phrases over and over (called echolalia)
  • Plays with toys the same way every time
  • Is focused on parts of objects (for example, wheels)
  • Gets upset by minor changes
  • Has obsessive interests
  • Must follow certain routines
  • Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles
  • Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel

Other Characteristics Of Individuals with Autism.

Most people with ASD have other related characteristics. These might include

  • Delayed language skills
  • Delayed movement skills
  • Delayed cognitive or learning skills
  • Hyperactive, impulsive, and/or inattentive behavior
  • Epilepsy or seizure disorder
  • Unusual eating and sleeping habits
  • Gastrointestinal issues (for example, constipation)
  • Unusual mood or emotional reactions
  • Anxiety, stress, or excessive worry
  • Lack of fear or more fear than expected

Autism Awareness Campaign Themes Over The Years.

As of 2012, each World Autism Awareness Day has focused on a specific theme determined by the UN.

  • 2012: “Launch of Official UN “Awareness Raising” Stamp”
  • 2013: “Celebrating the ability within the disability of autism”
  • 2014: “Opening Doors to Inclusive Education”
  • 2015: “Employment: The Autism Advantage”
  • 2016: “Autism and the 2030 Agenda: Inclusion and Neurodiversity”
  • 2017: “Toward Autonomy and Self-Determination”
  • 2018: “Empowering Women and Girls with Autism”
  • 2019: “Assistive Technologies Active Participation”
  • 2020: “The Transition to Adulthood”
  • 2021: “Inclusion in the Workplace”
  • 2022: “Inclusive Quality Education for All”
  • 2023: “Transforming the narrative: Contributions at home, at work, in the arts and in policymaking”
  • 2024: “Moving from Surviving to Thriving: Autistic individuals share regional perspectives”

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