Integrate people with autism in schools and jobs, says Ban

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World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April
Photo: CARE/David Rochkind, Design: Kim Conger

People with autism deserve all possible opportunities for education, employment and integration.

That was Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's message for World Autism Awareness Day.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life.

By including children with different learning abilities in mainstream and specialized schools, Ban said, we can change attitudes and promote respect.

"This year's World Autism Awareness Day is a chance to celebrate the creative minds of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and to renew our pledge to help them realize their great potential. I treasure my meetings with individuals affected by autism — parents, children, teachers and friends. Their strength is inspiring. They deserve all possible opportunities for education, employment and integration."

In many parts of the world, individuals with autism battle discrimination and exclusion, Ban recalled.

And even in places where their rights are secured, he noted, they often have to fight for basic services.

The United Nations promotes the rights and well-being of the disabled, including children with developmental disabilities.

Stéphanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’22”

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