Khanapara(Meghalaya) April 5 : The Department of Education, University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya observed World Autism Awareness Day by conducting a special day-long interactive program between the children of Assam Autism Foundation and the students of Psychology and Education Department of the University on 2nd April. Several cycling enthusiasts who took the initiative of venturing on a cycle rally for the awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder were also present in the event. The program aimed at sensitizing students, teachers and other professionals about the nature and needs of a person with autism.
Mr. Seal, the Coordinator of Assam Autism Foundation, said that people are very less aware about the Autism Spectrum Disorder. He gave a brief description about the characteristic of an autistic child and the changes they go through as they grow up and the challenges they face in the society. He made the participants aware about the various qualities every autistic child in their institution possessed and how care and love from the society and family can shape their life in a better way.
Dr. Bishnu Baishya, Psychiatrist at GMCH, said that Autistic children are not mentally retarded but they just lack social and communication skills. He outlined that there is no specific cause for this disorder but early detection can help the child to cope up with the challenges better. He gave an example of one of his patients who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder but this disability didn't stop him to achieve whatever he wanted in his life. Dr Baishya called on the people to change their attitude towards autistic people and said that to create a balanced society it is necessary to accept everyone the way they are.
One of the autistic students, who had a special skill of memorizing almost everything, performed a beautiful song in the programme. He surprised everyone by answering the birth date and the year of celebrities. The students USTM interacted with him and enjoyed his company throughout the program. During the program, the students and the teachers of USTM got an opportunity to interact with all the students of the Foundation. There were a total of 13 students present, all having their own unique abilities and were kind enough to showcase their talents to the visiting guests. It was accompanied by an insight into the productivity of the students in the form of various crafts that was prepared by them and was out for sale.