April 2, is observed as the World Autism Awareness Day worldwide. The entire month of April is observed as awareness month for Autism.
Autism is a type of developmental disorder which is generally present from birth. Persons with Autism have a difficulty in their ability to communicate with others whether this is to satisfy their own needs, share an interest, or express their feelings. They find it difficult to build and maintain relationships naturally. Some persons with autism will also have a restricted range of interests and display certain stereotypic behaviours that may be considered ‘odd’ by the society in general.
The exact cause of Autism is still not known, however it is known that some behaviours are present very early. It is also known that identifying children early and providing them with treatment has better effects for future. The World Health Organisation estimates that almost 1 in every 160 children worldwide is affected by Autism.
In Goa we do not have accurate figures for all age groups, but it is estimated that there are at least in the age group of 2 to 9 years there are approximately 1,700 children living with Autism
Persons with Autism are different, just like we all are from each other. If we try and understand the difficulties they have with experiencing the world around them and give them appropriate help we can help them and their families live happy and productive lives.
Avelino de Sa, President, Disability Rights Goa