Dimapur: Nagaland state commissioner for persons with disabilities Diethono Nakhro said lack of awareness in society has created a taboo on disability.
Nakhro lamented that there are still misconceptions and misunderstandings and negative perceptions about disability.
She was addressing the World Autism Awareness Day at Jo Foundation Inclusive School, Kohima on Saturday as the guest speaker.
She said stigmas surrounding autism can be removed if proper awareness is created at the grassroots level and by making the education system more inclusive. She, however, maintained that awareness alone is not enough and added that the goal should be “autism acceptance”.
Nakhro said this year’s theme for World Autism Day “Inclusive quality education for all” was chosen to draw attention to the disruption of education, especially for autistic children due to the pandemic.
Despite the numerous constraints that exist, she appreciated Inclusive School for providing quality education to the children.
Nakhro noted that disability has been neglected not only by the government but also by society.
“Fortunately, there are improvements taking place, and conversations on disability in various sectors are now visible,” she added.
Daniel Thong Solo, chairman, Jo Foundation Inclusive School, said autism is a disorder that hampers communication and social skills. He said early intervention is essential for providing support to autistic people and giving them a better quality of life.
Jo Foundation Inclusive School is looking after 34 special needs children with autism, down syndrome, intellectual learning disability, speech and hearing impaired, locomotor disability and dwarfism.