Dubai: World Autism Awareness Day is marked on April 2, and different Dubai organisations will take part in this international event, which aims to raise awareness about children with autism.

World Autism Awareness Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007 and is marked on April 2 every year to raise awareness among society usually by organising educational and fund-raising events.

The Dubai Autism Centre highlights their ongoing campaign ‘Do not think it is misbehaviour, it is autism’ on this day.

“The campaign targets the community in the UAE. We don’t want them to judge the parents of children with autism, they should just accept them. This is how they are. The campaign highlights some traits and characteristics of those with autism,” said Hayula Mourad, a spokesperson from the centre.

Hayula emphasised the importance of raising awareness about people with autism through campaigns and events. She revealed that the one year the centre did not launch a campaign, the number of people approaching the centre for diagnosis dropped to their 2004 and 2005 figures.

“In 2012, statistics found that one child in every 88 children has autism. The latest statistics by CNN found that one in every 68 children has autism. The numbers are increasing; this puts pressure on all parties responsible.”

Another campaign that will be launched on the occasion by Dubai Early Childhood Development Centre, which is part of the Community Development Authority, is the ‘My Community’ initiative. The autism awareness campaign will include interactive awareness activities.

Wednesday will also see the opening of Doris Duan-Young Autism Centre in Dubai. Following the success of the Doris Duan-Young Autism Centre of Orlando in the USA, its founder will be opening its second branch here in Dubai on World Autism Awareness Day.