According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 160 children worldwide has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which is defined as “a range of conditions characterised by some degree of impaired social behaviour, communication and language, and a narrow range of interests and activities that are both unique to the individual and carried out repetitively.”
This was the global statistical estimate in 2017. Various reports suggest that ASD is increasing. Despite its prevalence, however, many people with ASD are still stigmatized against and face discrimination around the world.
In this interview, Um Zayed Alnuaimi speaks about her experience as a mother of a 14-year-old teenager with ASD, and the negative comments she and her son Zayed both received from some people when it became apparent that he was suffering from the disorder. Behavioral and Inclusion Consultant Sharifa Nasser Yateem- the first Emirati Board Certified Behavior Analyst- also speaks about the importance of overcoming the stigma and becoming a more inclusive global society.
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