Amity Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences (AIRS) conducted a National Workshop on "Best Practices for the Persons with Autism" as part of World Autism Awareness Day celebrations at Amity Campus, Sector 125, Noida.
World Autism Awareness Day aims to increase people's awareness about people, especially children, with autism. The main objective of the workshop was to sensitize students, teachers, parents and professionals about the nature and needs of persons with Autism.
The event witnessed the presence of Dr. K B Kumar, Vice- Chairman &Dean, Rehabilitation Sciences; Prof. Dr. Balvinder Shukla, Vice Chancellor,Amity University; Dr JP Singh, Chairman – Amity Foundation of Developmental Disorders, Dr. Jayanti Pujari, Director – AIRS, Senior Officials and students of Amity University.
Addressing the gathering, Dr J P Singh said that people are well aware about the autism spectrum disorder. He added that initially there were not many programs for the disorder, however after many efforts, some special schools and counseling centers have been opened but people still lack knowledge about the disorder. He apprised that considering the educational needs of autistic children, the Government has added the clause of their education under the umbrella of Right to Education Act. He opined that there is a contingent of people prepared and committed to better the lives of individuals with Autism and it can be possible only if right information is spread across the society.
Dr.K B Kumar, Vice- Chairman & Dean, Rehabilitation Sciences congratulated Amity for running various programmes of developmental disorders which propel the vision of successful community inclusion. Citing the statistics, Dr. Kumar said that about 1 percent of the world population, i.e. more than 70 million people has Autism Spectrum Disorder. He added that in Us, 1 in 70 children are identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder while in South Korea, 1 in 35 children suffer from Autism. He outlined that in India, there is no accurate data for autism prevalence but it is expected for the borderline number of autistic children to be less because parents in India, particularly mothers spend more quality times with kids as compared to other developed countries. He stressed that the government only recognized the disorder in 2001, till 1980s, there were reports citing that Autism didn't exist in India, hence there is a lack of early detection, intervention and support in Indian society.
Sharing her views on equal right to live, Prof. (Dr.) Balvinder Shukla said that every individual in the society has the right to live a respectful life,no matter what disability they suffer from. She added that there are people who mistreat these kids and many parents find it difficult to cope with the stress of raising an autistic child; all they need to do is give time,patience and love to the children suffering from Autism. Dr. Shukla called on the people to change their attitude towards autistic people and said that to create a balanced society, it is necessary to create awareness amongst people to accept everyone the way they are. She further added that there is a need to create an inclusive society. She encouraged the educational institutions to identify different disabilities that exist and establish special schools for the children and start courses to teach best practices for the people suffering from a disability. “We need to develop a competence of understanding the people with disability rather than making them realize that they are different.” avers Dr. Shukla.
During the workshop, students of B.Ed Learning Disability, B.Ed Autism and B.Ed Mental Retardation presented a skit and video presentation on life with Autism Spectrum Disorder.