KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — Today, the international community observes World Autism Awareness Day, a day which encourages members of the public to get to know and understand individuals with autism better.
Various programmes, including exhibitions and campaigns, have been organised by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and associations related to autism to increase awareness and understanding within our community.
The Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) will also participate in this awareness campaign by organizing the ‘Bernama Creative Arts Exhibition’, which will be officiated by Women, Family, and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun this morning.
Bernama chairman Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi is also scheduled to attend the programme, which will be held at Wisma Bernama.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication and the presence of restricted, repetitive behaviors.
According to data from the Social Welfare Department, as at February, a total of 28,941 individuals with autism in the country have registered with the department.
The World Health Organisation said that out of 160 children, one of them has autism, and those with it face stigma and discrimination throughout the world.
Among stigmas often associated with this group are behavioral problems, such as irritability and difficulty in listening to instructions.
Other discriminations include difficulty in being self-sufficient and finding employment, even if they are able to perform work well.