Call for saving autistic children from coronavirus

KARACHI: Pakistan has 350,000 children suffering from autism which is a spectrum of neuropsychiatric disorders among people, particularly children, characterized by deficits in social interaction and communication. Worldwide, there are over 60 million children with autism.

This was stated by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Leader Ms Sharmila Farooqui in a statement. She said there was a need to provide autistic people with education and skills training so that they could also pass a decent life and take part in socio-economic development. The Sindh government has established the Centre for Autism Rehabilitation and Training Sindh in Karachi for the welfare of children suffering from autism. "I also take pride for the fact that I got this project from the Sindh government to make this autism centre that turns to be the South Asia's largest autism centre. It is now being run by the Special Education Department Sindh and is providing free of cost service to the children suffering from autism," she said.

She called for taking special care of children suffering from autism in these difficult days caused by the coronaviurs spread. There is a need to raise awareness for special care of these children," she said. Sharmila said that the Sindh government had been making hectic efforts to provide rights to disabled persons, including those suffering from autism and that was why on May 25, 2018, the Sindh Assembly passed the Sindh Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Bill. Under this law, the provincial government has ensured a 5% percent job quota at various levels for persons with disabilities in its departments, institutions and other entities. The private establishments will also have to ensure that their workforce will have a 5% percent job quota for disabled persons. "

She said autism’s most obvious signs appear between two and three years of age, but in some cases it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. "Some people with this disability can live independently, while others have severe disabilities and require life-long care and support. Evidence-based psychosocial interventions, such as behavioural treatment and parent skills training programmes, can reduce difficulties in communication and social behavior, with a positive impact on well-being and quality of life for persons with autism," she said. - PPI