World Autism Awareness Day

Each year on April 2nd, the United Nations observes World Autism Awareness Day for the primary purpose of raising awareness about autism among the general public. Increasing awareness will help society understand and accept people with autism, as well as support and spread kindness to them. Autism Spectrum Disorder, also known as ASD, is a developmental impairment that affects a person’s social, communication, and behavioural abilities. Despite the fact that numerous organisations throughout the world help with the assessment and treatment of ASD, it really is critical for people to be aware of the illness.

The topic has a high probability of being asked as a Current Affairs Question in IAS Prelims and Mains, as it has seen increased global efforts for popularisation amidst the CoVID-19 pandemic..

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History of World Autism Awareness Day

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously proclaimed April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day to emphasise the importance of assisting persons with autism in improving their quality of life so that they can live full and meaningful lives as contributing members of society. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities went into effect in the year of 2008, reiterating the fundamental premise of universal human rights for everyone. Autism is a lifelong neural illness that begins in early childhood and affects people of all ages, regardless of gender, colour, or financial background. The term “Autism Spectrum Disorder” refers to a group of symptoms.

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What is Autism?

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disease marked by social and linguistic communication difficulties, and also repetitive behaviours and limited interests. Autism spectrum disorder affects children and adults in a variety of ways. Some people are unable to communicate at all, while others have delayed or impaired verbal communication. Some people have severe cognitive difficulties, while others are exceptionally gifted.

Symptoms:

Symptoms of the disease can be noticed as early as childhood, between the ages of two and three years. However, this disease is not recognised until many children have grown up. Inability to accomplish daily chores, difficulty forming connections, paranoia, and limited and repetitive deviant behaviour are some of the symptoms.

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Note: IAS exam could ask basic facts about this topic as it holds international as well as domestic importance.

Significance

According to the 2011 Indian Census, there are 7,862,921 children with disabilities under the age of 19, of whom 595,089 have an intellectual disability. According to the survey, one out of every 66 children in India is autistic. Autism awareness is extremely weak, despite the fact that its frequency has doubled over the past decade. The day helps increase the much needed awareness about the disease, its early diagnosis and possible treatments.

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