If anyone thinks things
are different in other countries, the sad truth is they aren't. This is the
annual message from the Secretary-General of the UN for April 2, 2013 Autism
(Ban Ki-moon is from
South Korea and he's been the Secretary General of the UN since 2007.)
It should be noted that
the sugar coated message is largely unchanged since 2008. All we need is attention,
inclusion, awareness, support, understanding, and commitment. I wonder if
Ban Ki-moon noticed that when he become Secretary-General in 2007, the autism
rate was one in every 150 children and today it's one in 50 children.
There isn't any alarm over the ever-increasing numbers. There's no
call for answers. No acknowledgement of how severely many children are
impacted by autism and no mention of the cost. It seems his message is
scripted according to CDC guidelines: sound concerned, but never call autism a
Message for World Autism Awareness Day,
"World Autism Awareness Day has
succeeded in calling greater international attention to autism and
other developmental disorders that affect millions of people worldwide.
"The current session of the United Nations General Assembly
has adopted a new resolution on this issue, demonstrating a commitment to help
affected individuals and families. The resolution encourages Member States and
others to strengthen research and expand their delivery of health, education,
employment and other essential services.
"The Executive Board of the World Health Assembly will also
take up the subject of autism spectrum disorders at its forthcoming session in
"This international attention is
essential to address stigma, lack of awareness and inadequate support
structures. Current research indicates that early interventions can help
persons with autistic conditions to achieve significant gains in their
abilities. Now is the time to work for a more inclusive society, highlight
the talents of affected people and ensure opportunities for them to realize
"The General Assembly will hold a high-level meeting on 23
September to address the conditions of more than one billion persons with disabilities,
including those with autism spectrum disorders. I hope leaders will seize this
opportunity to make a meaningful difference that will help these individuals
and our human family as a whole.
"Let us continue to work hand-in-hand with persons with autism
spectrum disorders, helping them to cultivate their strengths while addressing
the challenges they face so they can lead the productive lives that are their
"Autism is not limited to
a single region or a country; it is a worldwide challenge that requires global
"Reaching out to
people with autism spectrum disorders requires global political commitment and
better international cooperation, especially in sharing good practices."
observance of World Autism Awareness Day is meant to spur such action and draw
attention to the unacceptable discrimination, abuse and isolation experienced
by people with autism and their loved ones."
"On this Day
in New York, Vienna and Geneva, the United Nations Postal Administration is
releasing six commemorative postage stamps and two collectible envelopes
dedicated to autism awareness."
"As we advance the
universal human rights of children with disabilities, let us focus on building
enabling environments for them to prosper as future members of their
communities, citizens of their countries and as fully-fledged members of the
global community. Let us pay tribute to the courage of children with autism and
their families, as they strive every day to confront the disability with a
powerful combination of determination, creativity and hope. Let us empower them
and respond to their needs today, so as to make our societies more accessible,
enabling and empowering for all our children tomorrow."