“Beethoven, Vincent Van Gogh, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein
and Bill Gates all had symptoms of autism in their childhood and yet,
they are names that will always remain in history.”
YB Minister of Health giving his opening address
The General Assembly of the United Nations designated April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day beginning in 2008. On this day, member nations will seek to raise society’s awareness of autism and the struggles of families with an autistic member.
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. There is no cure for autism and the symptoms range from quite mild to severe. While autism rates are increasing around the world, its causes remain unknown and there is currently no test to help prevent it.
Autistic behavior such as hand flapping, tapping and mouthing objects, toe walking, rocking back and forth, head banging, and vocalizing have led researchers to consider that those with autism are overly sensitive, under-sensitive, or both. Autistic people may share common behaviors which appear in all sorts of combination and vary in levels of intensity.
The World Autism Awareness Day celebration revolves around the hope that in the future, improved research studies and technology, as well as increased awareness and compassion among members of society will help to improve our knowledge and understanding of and responsiveness to autism.