Helping to mark World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April was an Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD, shortly after his announcement that he would be resigning with effect from 6 May. The Irish Society for Autism had earlier marked the Day by re-launching the European Charter of Rights for People with Autism in the European Commission Representation in Dublin.
Speakers at the launch included:
- former MEP and children’s rights campaigner, Mary Banotti,
- Pat Matthews, Executive Director of the Irish Society for Autism,
- Martin Territt, Director of the European Commission Representation in Ireland.
An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD lent his support to the Day by participating in a special photocall on the steps of Government Buildings.
The United Nations has declared that 2 April 2008 is World Autism Awareness day and in so doing, hopes to bring the world’s attention to the condition. Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that affects tens of millions of people worldwide. The World Autism Awareness Day resolution encourages all UN member states to take measures to raise awareness about autism throughout society and to encourage early diagnosis and early intervention.
By uniting autism organisations all across the world, the UN will give a voice to millions of individuals who are undiagnosed, misunderstood and looking for help.
The United Nations is deeply concerned by the prevalence of autism in children in all regions of the world and the consequent developmental challenges to long-term health care, education, training, and intervention programmes undertaken by governments, NGOs and the private sector, as well as its tremendous impact on children, their families and communities.