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AUTISM – Different not Less

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29th March, 2018 On Monday 2nd April, 2018 children with Autism in Nuku’alofa will again join the world to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day.

A week long awareness program under the theme,  “Autism – Different not Less” have been dedicated  to raise more awareness throughout Tonga, emphasizing greater awareness on Autism and for a better understanding of what it is like to leave with Autism.

Families of the 17 children diagnosed known in the Kingdom extends their invitation to decision-makers, churches, communities and families to join in the celebration and the awareness activities, commencing with a Church Service on Sunday 1 April, a Fun Day on Monday 2nd, School Visits, Mufti Day and a Fun Fair Day on Saturday April 7.

Since 2013 a support group of mothers in Nuku’alofa united to commemorate this day, to find ways for their families to understand Autism better, and every year the support group received more and new members willing to support the course. Families share the lack of understanding which hampers the inclusion of their child at schools, in the society and their development.

The United Nations’ General Assembly declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day, and the UN’s Secretary General’s message last year highlighted the significants of everyone playing a part in changing attitudes towards persons with Autism and in recognizing their rights as citizens, who, like everyone else are entitled to claim those rights.

“When they enjoy equal opportunity for self –determination and autonomy, persons with autism will be empowered to make an even stronger positive impact on our shared future,” stated the UN Secretary General.

A person with autism will have a range of conditions characterised by some degree of impaired social behaviour, communication and language, and a narrow range of interest and activities that are both unique to the individual and carried out repetitively.

The symbol for Autism is a puzzle piece and in the past five years the support group of mothers in Nuku’alofa have used a blue colour puzzle piece pin for their awareness campaign. Many have expressed tremendous support, financial donations, love and dedication to these children with Autism, empowering mothers in commemorating World Autism Awareness Day in Nuku’alofa, since 2013.

Everyone is welcome to wear blue coloured or a touch of blue, to show support in recognizing the rights of children with Autism in Tonga.

ENDS

For more information and interviews please contact; ‘Ilaisaane Siale Faka’osifolau/Mobile#8848483/, Email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or leave a message at Autism Tonga Facebook page.

 

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