Autism Consciousness Week
Year 1996 on the fourth day of January, former President Fidel V. Ramos signed the Proclamation no. 711 declaring that every third week of January is the commemoration of the “Autism Consciousness Week”. The objective is to spread awareness and acceptance to people with autism in the society. About one percent of the world’s population or nearly 70 million people has this condition. Autism is a neurological and developmental disorder characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior.
To further spread awareness on this, here are some of the noticeable special characteristics on people with autism: People with autism have difficulties in behaviour, sensory sensitivities, social interaction and communication.
- They commonly have focused interests which means, they like committing themselves on one thing that caught their heart the most.
- They usually do repetitive movements like spinning and repetitive use of objects like repeatedly switching lights on and off
- They like sticking to their usual routines such as playing outside at exactly four in the afternoon everyday
- They have a strange sensory interests such as gazing intently at moving objects
- They have unusual sensory sensitivities like staying away from common sounds and noise like the sound of vacuum cleaner and metal grinding because it annoys them a lot.
- They have difficulty in understanding non-verbal communication like facial expression and common gestures.
- They oftentimes find it hard to form and keep friendships.
- One of their dilemmas is how to respond on the society and their emotions.
- They usually have a delay in their language development.
- They find it hard to start and sustain conversations
- They frequently repeat language such as the lines they heard from the television an hour ago.
People with autism are a bit more sensitive than you so the following are some do’s and dont’s to people with this special condition:
- Never ever use the word “retarded” to describe them for it is frequently used just to insult their being.
- Never try to compare them to other people with the same condition because all of them have unique characteristics
- Never ever criticize one for his mannerism. Because believe it or not, most of them are aware that they have mannerisms, it’s just that they couldn’t stop it and it gives them the calmness they need.
- Don’t ever try to ask what it feels to be autistic
- Avoid staring at them. It makes them feel uncomfortable and conscious and besides, that’s just not right.
People with this special condition need not to be treated like they are far from being normal because the truth is, they are normal and moreover, they are special. They might be needing some special attention but always keep in mind that they are to be treated right and “handle with care”. The next Autism Consciousness Week will beheld on January 16- 23, 2017
The commemoration of this event is very significant most especially to people with this condition and to their relatives and loved ones because these are the days to celebrate
their lives and their special condition. And not just for them, but also for other people who are still lacking awareness and information about this special condition.