On the 15th annual World Autism Awareness Day, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said to reassert our commitment to an “inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world,” forpeople with autism.Like each year, April 2 was observed to defend the inclusion of people living with autism in our society. The theme of 2022 was inclusive education.
This day is marked to improve the quality of life of people with autism, also helping society understand, accept, and support them. The primary goal is to start the spread of kindness and awareness and to inspire individuals.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about one in 100 children have autism, consisting of various types of conditions related to brain development. One can notice some common characteristics during early childhood.
WHO says that the abilities and requirements of people with autism differ and develop over time. Some autistic people can live independently, while others might require lifelong support. However, on Autism Awareness Day, Guterres mentioned that many still live in isolation, experiencing discrimination and disconnect from society and community or sometimes even in their homes.
What is Autism?
Autism is a neurological condition that develops at a very young age. According to WHO, it is also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), consisting of a diverse group of conditions related to the development of the brain.
The American Psychiatric Association explains ASD as a complex developmental condition that includes constant challenges, like repetitive behavior, communication problems, restricted interest, feeling uncomfortable with alterations in routine, limited eye contact, etc.
Early intervention can enhance social skills, learning, and communication. Several autistic children can also benefit from occupational and speech therapy.
UN’s Message on 2022 World Autism Awareness Day
The UN says that the autism rate around the world is quite high than ever before. Our lack of understanding and knowledge can tremendously impact the lives of these individuals.
So, the UN Secretary’s message on Autism Awareness Day 2022 was to establish a more equitable and affordable world that respects and appreciates everybody’s efforts, including people with autism.
The Theme of 2022 World Autism Awareness Day
As stated earlier, the 2022 theme of World Autism Awareness Day was inclusive education, which was intrinsically connected with the focus of last year’s theme, inclusion in the workplace.
The panelists emphasized the importance of quality education for autistic people so they can perform and achieve their goals in the labor market.
The theme represents Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Quality Education, one of 17 SDGs embraced by the UN Leaders in 2015. It is to provide an outline for managing the challenges the world is facing, like inequality.
Ever since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, educational institutions, including schools and colleges have shifted online, impacting the students, especially the ones with autism. The theme of 2022 aims to emphasize what can be done to provide quality education for individuals with autism.
How Can You Support Autism Awareness?
On Autism Awareness Day you can spread awareness by learning about the history and helping others understand. You can also change your social media profile to blue, wear blue, or use blue light bulbs. To spread awareness, you can support employers and autism-friendly work. One can also start small by spreading awareness in their community.