Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

UN Marks World Autism Day Calling for Inclusive Education

The day seeks to raise awareness among people about the developmental disorder and remove the stigma associated with it
April 2, 2022
World Autism Day

In his message to mark World Autism Awareness Day on Saturday, 2 April, the UN chief revealed how the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened inequalities affecting people with the condition.

“On this World Autism Awareness Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to an inclusive, equitable and sustainable world for persons with autism,” said António Guterres.

The UN Secretary-General recalled the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to defend the full inclusion of those living with autism in society.

This year, the theme is inclusive education. The UN is calling for more educational programmes, vocational training and systems that give people with autism a choice for their futures.

Approximately one in 100 children has autism, which constitutes a diverse group of conditions related to the development of the brain, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Although characteristics may be detected in early childhood, autism is often not diagnosed until much later.

The abilities and needs of autistic people vary and can evolve over time, WHO said. While some can live independently, others have severe disabilities and require life-long care and support.

While the 2030 Agenda represents a commitment to reducing inequality through social, economic and political inclusion for all, including persons with disabilities, Guterres said many persons with autism still live in isolation, discriminated against and disconnected from their communities, in institutions – or even in their own homes.

What is Autism?

The United Nations defines autism as a “lifelong neurological condition” that develops during early childhood. Also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder, the condition constitutes a diverse group of conditions related to the development of the brain, according to the World Health Organization.

Types of Autism

There are mainly three types of autism spectrum disorders:

Autistic Disorder

This is sometimes called “classic” autism. People with autistic disorder usually have significant language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviours and interests.

Asperger Syndrome

People with Asperger syndrome usually have milder symptoms of autistic disorder. They might have social challenges and unusual behaviours and interests.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder

This is sometimes called “atypical autism,” or PDD-NOS. People who meet some of the criteria for autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome, but not all, maybe diagnosed with atypical autism. These people usually have fewer and milder symptoms than those with autistic disorder.