World Autism Awareness Day 2021 is being observed on Friday to spread kindness and autism awareness. The International World Autism Day is observed on 2 April every year. In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day.
What is autism?
According to www.healthline.com, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a broad term used to describe a group of neurodevelopmental disorders. A person with autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may face challenges of social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and non-verbal communication.
If you want to understand an autistic person, Do listen to their problems and acknowledge their struggle with getting angry or irritated. In this World Autism Awareness Day 2021, ensure that children and adults with autism can live a life with dignity.
The Centre for Disease Control, the national public health agency of the United States, says that autism affects an estimated one in 54 children in the country today.
Firstly, The lack of understanding in this regard has a tremendous impact on the individuals. Secondly, ensure that persons with autism are afforded opportunities for realizing their potential.
World Autism Awareness Day 2021: Theme
This day is observance will address these issues through a virtual event that will include moderated panel discussions with individuals on the autism spectrum who have themselves experienced the challenges and seen these new opportunities in the employment market.
The theme of World Autism Awareness Day 2021 is “Inclusion in the Workplace: Challenges and opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World”.
History of Autism Awareness Day:
Meanwhile, The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day. In 2008, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force, reaffirming the fundamental principle of universal human rights for all.
The first historical appearance of the word “Autism” was made in 1911 by the psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler. It was in 1943, when pediatric psychiatrist Dr. Leo Kanner characterized Autism as a social and emotional disorder in his article “Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact”.
3 main symptoms of autism:
- Repetitive behaviors like hand-flapping, rocking, jumping, or twirling.
- Constant moving (pacing) and “hyper” behavior.
- Fixations on certain activities or objects.
- Specific routines or rituals (and getting upset when a routine is changed, even slightly)
- Extreme sensitivity to touch, light, and sound.
Causes of Autism:
According to www.healthline.com here are few causes of Autism-
- having an immediate family member with autism
- genetic mutations
- fragile X syndrome and other genetic disorders
- being born to older parents
- low birth weight
- metabolic imbalances
- exposure to heavy metals and environmental toxins
- a history of viral infections
- fetal exposure to the medications valproic acid (Depakene) or thalidomide (Thalomid).
How can you know if your child has autism?
Autism is not diagnosed until the age of 2 years and only a specialist (psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist) can diagnose it.
Avoiding eye contact, not smiling when you smile at them.
Getting very upset if they do not like a certain taste, smell, or sound.
Repetitive movements, such as flapping their hands, flicking their fingers, or rocking their body.
Below the age of 1 year
- Avoids eye contact
- No facial expression or inappropriate expression
- Doesn’t respond to your smile
- Doesn’t look at objects which you show
- May not respond to sound
- Sticks to specific toys
- Difficult to comfort and soothe the child
Also read: 5 Ways To Support Kids With Autism
1-2 years of age
- Kids being in its own imaginary world
- Delay in speech
- Doesn’t respond when called by name
- Doesn’t respond to questions appropriately
- Extra sensitive to loud sounds, unusual smells
- Unresponsive to people
- Repetitive behaviour like taping body parts, repeat words or noises
Over the age of 2 years
- Prefers to play alone
- The child will not share things with others
- Difficulty in expressing his/her feelings
- Does not make friends and share things
- Hardly uses gestures or displays appropriate body language
- Tone of their speech can be either low pitched or high pitched
- Sensitive to infections and can fall sick frequently
Famous Autistic People in History:
- Dan Aykroyd – Comedic Actor
- Hans Christian Andersen – Children’s Author
- Benjamin Banneker – African American almanac author, surveyor, naturalist, and farmer
- Susan Boyle – Singer
- Tim Burton – Movie Director
- Lewis Carroll – Author of “Alice in Wonderland”
- Henry Cavendish – Scientist
- Charles Darwin – Naturalist, Geologist, and Biologist
- Emily Dickinson – Poet
- Paul Dirac – Physicist
- Albert Einstein – Scientist & Mathematician
- Bobby Fischer – Chess Grandmaster
- Bill Gates – Co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation
- Temple Grandin – Animal Scientist
- Daryl Hannah – Actress & Environmental Activist
- Thomas Jefferson – Early American Politician
- Steve Jobs – Former CEO of Apple
- James Joyce – Author of “Ulysses”
- Alfred Kinsey – Sexologist & Biologist
- Stanley Kubrick – Film Director
- Barbara McClintock – Scientist and Cytogeneticist
- Michelangelo – Sculptor, Painter, Architect, Poet
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Classical Composer
- Sir Isaac Newton – Mathematician, Astronomer, & Physicist
- Jerry Seinfeld – Comedian
- Satoshi Tajiri – Creator of Nintendo’s Pokémon
- Nikola Tesla – Inventor
- Andy Warhol – Artist
- Ludwig Wittgenstein – Philosopher
- William Butler Yeats – Poet
Moreover, Due to The COVID-19 pandemic, Persons with autism have long faced many of these inequalities.
World Autism Awareness Day 2021 guide to parents:
Identifying autism among kids.
Fix a schedule for autistic children. Be it for meals, therapy, school, playtime etc.
Identify your child’s talent like learning a new skill. Appreciate them and encourage them.
Most importantly, learn new ways to make their child happy and spare time.
After that, Reward your child for their good behavior.
Furthur, Parents are advised to join autism support groups to share their feelings.