April 2nd is sanctioned by the UN as World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD). Every year on this day, Ummeed Child Development Centre joins a global movement to create awareness about autism as a condition and increase understanding of the need for early diagnoses, intervention and support for children impacted by autism. Around the world, thousands of iconic landmarks and buildings join hundreds of thousands of homes and communities to “light up blue” in support of people living with autism, as part of the “Light It Up Blue” campaign by Autism Speaks, an U.S. based advocacy organization.
Last year, Ummeed partnered with the Taj Mahal hotel and the Army Navy Building in Mumbai to light it up Blue. This year, Ummeed hopes to light up the iconic Bandra Worli Sea Link along with the Taj Hotel, Jaslok Hospital, Royal Opera House, and other restaurants, play zones, corporate offices and spaces. In addition there will be a range of other autism-friendly events and educational activities all of April to increase understanding and acceptance of the experience of Autism and further support people with autism.
Ummeed’s campaign theme for 2017 is:
1 in 68 children has Autism. Identify. Understand. Support
1 in 68 children have Autism Spectrum Disorder. In fact, more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined, according to Autism Speaks, an U.S. based advocacy organization.
Autism is the fastest growing neuro -developmental disorder in the world. “Neuro”- because it is related to how the brain functions and “developmental”- as it primarily impacts how a child develops. Autism impacts children’s development in how they speak and understand what is being said to them. In addition, children with autism often struggle to form friendships and other social relationships and may have interests or behaviours that are obsessive and repetitive.
However, intervening early through appropriate therapy can change the course of the disorder. Following early intervention, children show progress in their developmental skills and learn how to communicate effectively, form social interactions and regulate themselves better.
About Ummeed Child Development Centre:
Ummeed, meaning ‘hope’, is a non-profit organization set up in 2001 by Dr. Krishnamurthy with the objective of helping children with developmental disabilities or at high risk for disabilities, reach their maximum potential and be included in society. Ummeed achieves this by working in collaborative teams, creating and following best practices, empowering families, building resources in the community, participating in advocacy as well as working with children and families from all sections of society.
For more than a decade now, Ummeed’s multi-disciplinary team of developmental paediatricians, autism interventionists, occupational therapists and mental health professionals have worked with thousands of families of children with autism. Children receive therapy to support their communication, social, play and academic skills while parents are also trained to help their children acquire these skills that may not come easily to them.
1 in 68 children has Autism
Identify. Understand. Support
An initiative by Ummeed Child Development Centre supported by Parthenon-EY