People in many countries view autism as a source of disappointment, annoyance, shame or worse. According to some researchers, stigma may keep families from seeking a diagnosis and services for their children, from participating fully in their communities, and from enjoying the same quality of life as their neighbors. Simply put, stigma influences public health.Autism often involves “extremely disruptive antisocial behavior,” wrote Australian sociologist David E. Gray.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a condition characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication. Autism is a development disorder. The disorder is characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication which may also include restricted and repetitive behaviour. The signs of Autism are often noticed by the parents of the child during the first three years. These signs develop gradually. About one in 160 children has an ASD.
Mr. Gray wrote “It is this combination of pervasive disability and apparent physical normality that gives the stigma experienced by families with autistic children its unique quality,”
World Autistic Day is celebrated on 18th June every year and aims to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder at the national and international level.
People with autism are often subject to stigma and discrimination, including unjust deprivation of health care, education and opportunities to engage and participate in their communities.
Replace Autism Spectrum disorder with Autism spectrum condition because condition is less stigmatizing.
It can be said that “Autism is not a manufacturing defect but a handling defect”.
Timely access to early evidence-based psychosocial interventions can improve the ability of children with autism to communicate effectively and interact socially.
The British study noted that many parents face trade-offs when having their child diagnosed. The diagnosis may invite stigma, prejudice and the loss of a parent’s feeling of “normalcy.” On the other hand, a diagnosis can open doors to therapies and educational services that may improve the child’s symptoms and quality of life.
The parents of diagnosed children generally worked to reduce the stigma of ASD, according to Russell and Norwich. They encouraged other parents to seek assessments for autism. Some also focused on their child’s strengths.
WHO Resolution on autism spectrum disorders (WHA67.8):In May 2014, the Sixty-seventh World Health Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Comprehensive and coordinated efforts for the management of autism spectrum disorders (ASD),” which was supported by more than 60 countries.
“I am a Proud Autistic. – Tito Mukhopadhyay”
Reference Links: https://iancommunity.org/ssc/autism-stigma