Photo of press conference in 2012 on UN stamps issued to commemorate World Autism Day. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The 2022 World Autism Awareness Day observance will address inclusive education in the context of SDG 4 – the promise and reality – through a virtual event that will include a moderated panel discussion, along with brief presentations by self-advocates, educators and other experts.

The theme of inclusive education is intrinsically linked with the focus of last year’s World Autism Awareness Day observance, “Inclusion in the Workplace”.

The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.

What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong neurological condition that manifests during early childhood, irrespective of gender, race or socio-economic status. The term Autism Spectrum refers to a range of characteristics. Appropriate support, accommodation and acceptance of this neurological variation allow those on the Spectrum to enjoy equal opportunity, and full and effective participation in society.

Autism is mainly characterized by its unique social interactions, non-standard ways of learning, keen interests in specific subjects, inclination to routines, challenges in typical communications and particular ways of processing sensory information.

The rate of autism in all regions of the world is high and the lack of understanding has a tremendous impact on the individuals, their families and communities.

The stigmatization and discrimination associated with neurological differences remain substantial obstacles to diagnosis and therapies, an issue that must be addressed by both public policy-makers in developing nations, as well as donor countries.

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