Far too Many People with Autism Face Abuse, Bias, Stigma, Secretary-General Says in Message for World Awareness Day

SG/SM/13476-OBV/974
25 March 2011

Far too Many People with Autism Face Abuse, Bias, Stigma, Secretary-General Says in Message for World Awareness Day

25 March 2011
Secretary-General
SG/SM/13476
OBV/974
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Far too Many People with Autism Face Abuse, Bias, Stigma, Secretary-General

 

Says in Message for World Awareness Day

 


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World Autism Awareness Day, to be observed on 2 April:


The number of children and people with autistic conditions continues to rise — in every nation and in every racial, ethnic and social group.  Although the recognition of autistic conditions among the scientific, health and care communities is improving, public awareness remains low.  The annual observance of World Autism Awareness Day thus takes on ever greater importance as an opportunity to mobilize for action and assistance.


Children and persons with autistic conditions face major challenges associated with stigma and discrimination, as well as a lack of access to support.  Many struggle with multiple barriers in their daily lives.  Far too many suffer terrible discrimination, abuse and isolation, in violation of their fundamental human rights.


Autism is a complex disorder.  But in many cases the right treatment early on can bring improvements.  That is why it is so important to raise awareness about the signs of autism and provide services as soon as possible.


It is also critical to support parents, create jobs for individuals with autism based on their skills and strengths, and improve public education to better meet the needs of students with autism.


Taking these steps will benefit society as a whole, enriching people with autism, their loved ones and others alike.  As the mother of one child with autism said, “Although my daughter has walked a long way, I have walked a longer way.”


Together, let us travel this road towards a more caring and inclusive world.


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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.