01 April 2009

World autism day

Autism is considered to have reached epidemic proportions. World Autism Awareness Day aims to educate the public about the condition.

Autism is considered to have reached epidemic proportions and as a result, World Autism Awareness Day is one of only three “disease specific” days ever declared by the United Nations.

Autism is a lifelong, complex condition that internationally is considered to affect 1 in every 150 children born. If one considers South Africa’s population and birth rate, this means that each day, 14 of the children born in our country will develop autism; over 5000 new cases per year in South Africa.

Despite work being undertaken to enhance the awareness and understanding of autism, there appears still to be poor understanding amongst the public as regards autism; a condition that has a genetic predisposition and appears to be triggered by environmental factors, affecting brain development, structure and biochemical functioning.

Thus the main aim of World Autism Awareness Day is to radically improve public knowledge on and understanding of the far-reaching ramifications of autism. - Autism South Africa, April 2009




Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Mental health & your work »

How open are you about mental illness in the workplace?

Mental health in the workplace – what you can do to help

If you know that one of your colleagues suffers from a mental illness, would you be able to help them at work? Maligay Govender offers some helpful mental health "first aid" tips.

Sleep & You »

Sleep vs. no sleep Diagnosis of insomnia

6 things that are sabotaging your sleep

Kick these shut-eye killers to the kerb and make your whole life better – overnight.