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Autistic Pride Day 2019: Time we recognise Autism as neurodiversity

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New Delhi, June 18: Autistic Pride Day is celebrated every year on June 18. Autistic Pride Day dedicated to the people on the Autistic spectrum. Autistic Pride Day is very important for autistics, for whom this day is about expressing themselves and assert that they are as much a part of society as all of us are.

There is something called as the autism rights movement which advocates for greater acceptance of autistics. There is a concept which is supported by many that autism be treated as neurodiversity and not disorder. Autistic Pride Day is in fact a day dedicated to neurodiversity, and celebrating rather than extinguishing individual differences.

Autistic Pride Day 2019: Time we recognise Autism as neurodiversity

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and non-verbal communication.

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Autistic pride stands for pride in autism, which spreads the message that people suffering from autism are not diseased but different. This day acknowledges that autistic people are not sick rather they have a unique set of characteristics.

"Autism Pride Day is important because it shows people what autism really is and to be proud of being different," said 13-year-old Holly from Leeds, UK, as per www.independent.co.uk.

"I think Autism Pride Day is important, because it helps people to recognise there's a plus side to having the condition. Many people are successful because of their autism - Albert Einstein, Satoshi Tajiri and Dan Aykroyd are all examples of this. Autism doesn't mean you won't succeed in life; it means you have the potential to do something no one else can - you just have to discover it," said 25-year-old George Harvey, from Kent who gives autism awareness talks in schools, according to www.independent.co.uk.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports (2014), about 1 in 68 children have autism, across the world. This suggests that there are around 18 million people with autism in India. There are various schools for autistic people in our country, which help children develop social, behavioural and language skills as per their specific needs.

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Several factors may influence the development of autism, and it is often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and medical issues such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures or sleep disorders, as well as mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression and attention issues.

Indicators of autism usually appear by age 2 or 3. Some associated development delays can appear even earlier, and often, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Research shows that early intervention leads to positive outcomes later in life for people with autism, according to www.autismspeaks.org.

Autistic Pride Day was first celebrated in 2005 by Aspies for Freedom and it quickly became a global event which is celebrated widely. The theme of the 2005 event was "Acceptance not cure". The main event of 2005 was in Brasília.

www.autismspeaks.org; www.nhp.gov.in

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