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City marks World Autism Month Print E-mail
31 March 2017

Autism


The City of Johannesburg and Autism South Africa (ASA) will observe World Autism Awareness Day on Sunday April 2.

The City’s Health and Social Development Department and ASA will also host a range of activities throughout April – declared Autism Awareness Month by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2007 – to raise awareness of autism in support of people with the disease and their families.

Autism results from a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain. It is characterised by impairments in social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication and restricted, repetitive interests and activities.

It is believed to stem from genetic predisposition triggered by environmental factors. Statistics show that one in 99 children is affected by autism.

The City and ASA have encouraged Johannesburg residents and institutions this April to take part in the “Light It Up Blue” global campaign during which they can light iconic buildings and landmarks blue and wear blue clothing to pledge solidarity with people with autism.

Flyers and pamphlets on autism will be distributed in and around City facilities. People could also take part in the Disability Walk from Cheshire Home to Thokoza Park in Rockville, Soweto, in support for persons with disabilities, including those living with autism.

A number of information-sharing sessions will be held on access to services for people with disabilities. ASA will also facilitate sessions to equip early childhood development and healthcare practitioners with knowledge on early detection of signs of autism in children in order to refer them for early intervention and treatment.

Last year, more than 150 countries around the world lit it up iconic buildings and landmarks blue to heighten awareness of the disease.

Some of the famous personalities with autism include comedian Jerry Seinfeld, inventor Isaac Newton, scientist Albert Einstein, biologist Charles Darwin and American Idol contestant James Durbin.

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Last Updated on 31 March 2017