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World Autism Awareness Day 2024: Date, history, theme, significance and all you want to know


World Autism Awareness Day 2024: Autism cases around the world are on rise and more children are getting diagnosed and receiving therapy and treatment for autism than ever before as per CDC. While this could be partly due to the increased awareness around the condition, more autism cases could be attributed to factors like air pollution, low birth weight, and stress. (Also read | World Autism Awareness Day 2024: 8 effective teaching strategies for children with autism)

World Autism Awareness Day 2024: Not all autistic people have the same symptoms but the common ones include difficulty with communication, difficulty with social interactions, obsessive interests and repetitive behaviours.(Freepik)

Autistic spectrum disorder is a group of developmental disabilities in which children may behave, communicate, interact and learn in ways that are different from most other children. To spread awareness around the condition and to enhance efforts in educating, empowering and supporting people with this condition, World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated every year on April 2 ever since the day was designated by United Nations through a resolution.

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Prevalence of autism is also increasing in India. According to a 2021 study published in the Indian Journal of Paediatrics: The estimated prevalence of Autism in India is around 1 in 68 children. Boys are more commonly affected by autism than girls with a male-to-female ratio of approximately 3:1.

Autism is caused due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Not all autistic people have the same symptoms but the common ones include difficulty with communication, difficulty with social interactions, obsessive interests and repetitive behaviours.

Theme of World Autism Awareness Day 2024

The theme of World Autism Awareness Day this year is ‘Empowering Autistic Voices’ which aims at providing more support and power to the individuals with this condition, in order to ensure they lead a meaningful life and even pursue successful careers. The theme is decided annually to revive the resolve to support and accept people with this condition.

History of World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day was designated by a resolution passed by United Nations General Assembly on November 1, 2007, highlighting the need to raise public awareness around autism and to work actively towards empowering and accepting individuals with autism, and recognising their contribution to the society. The UN General Assembly unanimously declared April 2 was World Autism awareness Day to remind the society about the need to improve quality of life of those with autism and help them become an indispensable part of the social fabric.

Significance

An important observation the day provides an opportunity to dispel myths surrounding the disorder and make people aware about it. Educating people about how autism impacts people can also help resolve stigma around it. This will help people with autism to feel included and supported by rest of the world. With more knowledge about autism, parents can avail of the new and emerging therapies that can help children with autism learn new skills and make use of their talents.



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