Till today, many parents of autistic children try to hide their child’s disability from the community, they are afraid to take their children to the parks, in fear that the onlookers will stare at them or may make fun of their conditions. The ignorance level about autism is very high in India and is considered a social stigma.
The World’s Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), which is observed on April 2 every year, allows us to talk about autism in India – a health issue that is too often overlooked. Unless it is made aware, addressed, and accepted, there won’t be a way out and the sufferings of the patients and their loved ones will never end.
The first WAAD was celebrated in 2008. The day highlights the need to help and improve the quality of life of those with autism so that they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.
Today, many organizations and communities around the world come together in recognition of the people with autism and their loved ones with kindness and acceptance to support them.
However, any mental health condition in India is still considered taboo. India is a society that doesn’t understand mental health disorders, which may be due to lack of awareness and education, more superstitious beliefs, inability to accept the patients who suffer from them.
Every person living here must be aware and be open to the basic understanding of the disease and its sufferers. Prevalence and incidence statistics about autism in India is 1 in 500 or 0.20% or more than 2,160,000 people. According to a study, an estimated three million people live with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) on the Indian subcontinent.
Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), which is a frequent and debilitating neurological handicap in children – usually diagnosed in early childhood.
Many doctors believe that genes play an important part in whether the child will be born with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or not.
For a majority of cases, there are no definitive biological markers of autism diagnosis depending on a range of behavioral signs. The major symptoms of autism involve problems with communication, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors.
However, scientists believe that it may be associated with genetic or environmental factors. There’s no cure for ASD, but occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, educational support, and several other interventions may help children and parents.
The need for better services, acceptance, and understanding by the masses.
There is a need to push back against stigma and provide acceptance and support to those living with autism, to dispel myths and spread awareness and knowledge. To make the masses understand what it is exactly and not. How to help those who are suffering, improve their living conditions in a society like ours.
Autism can be prevented, though no one has yet figured out the main cause of autism. However, there are measures to prevent having a child with autism.