2 April 2022: World Autism Awareness Day
World Autism Awareness Day, as decided by the UN General Assembly, is held on 2 April each year to raise awareness of the needs of people with autism and their families.
Globally, actions are implemented to eliminate stereotypes and prejudices and to build the foundations of an open society, far from the isolation and marginalisation experienced by people with autism and their families.
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that usually manifests itself in the developmental phase. The clinical features of autism include poor social interaction and communication, the manifestation of stereotyped repetitive behaviours, the presence of language disorders or absence of speech and significant or no degree of mental retardation or other medical conditions. Although autism is not curable, early and specific therapeutic interventions help to improve the functioning of autistic individuals.
Achieving social inclusion, labour integration and access to education for people with autism, which are inalienable rights for every human being, requires coordination and cooperation of all stakeholders, taking into account a holistic framework.
The State must pursue integrated support through social inclusion policies (benefit policy, social care reform programmes, development of support networks, training programmes).
For their part, local authorities at the first and second levels (municipalities and regions) need to actively support and implement programmes and actions on autism, as this is the only way to create a cohesive society that supports all its members, recognising the rights of children with autistic disorders and their families.
We must remove all kinds of prejudice, stereotypes and negative attitudes. It is everyone's business to create a society based on equality and solidarity.