Early interventions for people on autism spectrum is important

01 May 2013

Early interventions can help people on the autism spectrum reach significant gains in their abilities, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on World Autism Awareness Day, urging international attention to autism and other developmental disorders.

New Horizons, May 2013 - “Now is the time to work for a more inclusive society, highlight the talents of affected people and ensure opportunities for them to realize their potential,” Mr. Ban said in his message on World Autism Awareness Day, which is marked annually on 2 April.

Autism is characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills and social interactions and in restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour.

In New York, two panel discussions take place on 2 April to celebrate the abilities of people with autism.

In addition to scholars and civil society representatives, the panels feature Neal Katz, a teenager with autism featured in the film 'Autism The Musical' Fazli Azeem, a Fulbright Scholar from Pakistan who is on the autism spectrum; and Idil Azeem from Somalia, who has a child with autism.

UN Headquarters in New York is also hosting a musical performance by Talina and The Miracle Project, which includes performers with autism.

A resolution on “awareness gap”

In November, the General Assembly held a High-level Special Event on Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

Member States adopted a new resolution encouraging governments to strengthen research and expand their delivery of health, education, employment and other essential services.

The resolution is also meant to help close the “awareness gap” in terms of developing countries' knowledge of autism and how to treat the illness.


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