Oleh: Muhammad Fatkhurrozak Sokhipul Hadi, Ain Syafia Qutreenie Alwi & Mohd Akmaluddin Syarif Mohd Noor

World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated every 2nd of April to raise awareness about autism, promote international support and inspire individuals. Moreover, raising awareness of autism is to create a world full of goodness to promote understanding, acceptance and inclusion for autism in society.

This year’s World Autism Awareness Day 2024 has the theme ‘Empowering Autistic Voices’, which aims to invite people to focus on strengthening their voices and individual perspectives on the autism spectrum, encouraging inclusive support, understanding and knowledge of autism.

As we knows, Autism is a complex phenomenon in which a person’s social interaction is disrupted by problems with communication skills, recurrent unnatural behavior, self-denial and limited desire for something.

A lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that usually occurs in early childhood and affects a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation. Autism is defined by certain behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects a person differently and at different levels.

Every person with autism has different strengths and challenges. Some of them need significant support in their day-to-day lives, while others may need less support and, in some cases, they are able to live fully independently.

People with autism usually have difficulty communicating and interacting with others. They also have difficulty understanding other people’s thoughts and feelings. They are too sensitive to bright light or loud noise that they will feel anxious or angry at situations unfamiliar to them. Sometimes they have a high intellectual capacity but they also need time to process something new. And the thing that’s often seen is they like to do the same thing over and over again. All of these characteristics depend on each individual because the thinking process of each person with this autism is different.

So, autism is not a treatable disease like other diseases, but early intervention and therapy can soften any development and help them to live their own lives and conduct their day-to-day lives well.

Therapy can help them to acquire the necessary skills to enable them to take care of themselves, learn and communicate with others. Among the important therapies for children with autism are speech-therapy and behavioral therapy. With the support and encouragement of all parties (parents, teachers, experts, academics) in playing a role in helping autistic people, it can enhance their ability to live perfectly.

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