Autism day, the 2nd April 2017 was a very significant day for us as our autism angel, Ferdous Mahi has achieved a brilliant success on that very day. Autism day is a very important day for all autistic children of the world as it has been recognized as World Autism Awareness Day by the United Nations, but it has been special for our only son.
Every year Autism day is observed throughout the world on April 2, since 2008. The day is observed to make people aware of the terrible disabilities of autism and to express solidarity with the autistic individuals and their parents. Through the observance of the day, the people of all walks of life are invited to support the autistic individuals to make them self-dependent. This year the theme of the day was “Toward Autonomy and Self-determination”.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that completely changes the lifestyle of a family. The autism individuals remain dependent upon all other members of the family throughout their life.
My only son Ferdous Mahi is an autistic boy and dependent upon us at the every step of his life. Yet he has got made some tremendous achievements in his life defeating all his limitations and disabilities on the autism day of 2017. So we call him as our autism angel.
Mahi’s Artwork on the Liberation war of Bangladesh, was be seemed on the invitation card of the Honorable Prime Minister on the eve of the Autism Day, 2017
I would like to inform you that I am a proud father of an autistic boy of 21 years old named Ferdous Mahi. My Mahi, this year on the eve of World Autism Day on 02 April 2017, has proved his worth through his self-determination and mountainous effort and showed a great success in the field of Artworks. He has been defeated his disability and snatched the success.
I will narrate the success story of my autistic boy at the later part of this article. Before that, I would like to talk something about autism and the significance of the Autism Day.
What is Autism?
Autism is an extensive neurodevelopmental disorder that involves delay development and abnormal function of the brain. An autistic individual show decreased social communication skills and restricted and repetitive pattern of behaviors. Since its inception, autism has been growing very rapidly within the children of the developed and the developing countries throughout the world.
Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders, in varying degrees, are characterized by difficulties in development at per age, social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication and repetitive behaviors. It starts with all types of delayed developmental milestones.
“Autism is not a mental illness, a mental health condition or a learning disability. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by impaired verbal or social communication, rigid, restrictive and repetitive behaviors, uneven intellectual development, sensitivity to sensory inputs, challenges with fine and gross motor skills, and gastrointestinal difficulties, among other characteristics. Autism is more accurately referred to as ‘autism spectrum disorder’ (ASD) because each person on the spectrum can exhibit a differing array of these characteristics and with wide-ranging severity.” (Evidence Network, Canada)
Till now there is no curable treatment has been discovered for this disability. But the early diagnosis and intervention may make some improvement in the behavior of the autistic children. They need continuous support of the parents, caregivers, school teachers, and therapists to establish them as self-dependent. Therefore, a massive awareness is required among every element of the society.
According to the United Nations (UN) resolution 62/139, autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life and results from a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, mostly affecting children in many countries irrespective of gender, race or socio-economic status, and characterized by impairments in social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication and restricted, repetitive behavior, interests and activities.
History of Autism
In 1908, Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist first used the term ‘autism’ to refer a group of symptoms of schizophrenia. Since 1940, the researchers of the United States (US) began to use the term autism to describe children with emotional and social problems.
Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger were two other pioneer researcher started their research since the 1940s. In 1943, a US child psychiatrist Leo Kanner started his study on 11 autistic children to assess their behavioral pattern. Leo Kanner was the first scientist to clearly define autism. Hans Asperger also started his research in 1944 with a separate group of children and detects a condition with similar afflictions which is now called as Asperger’s Syndrome.
In the year 1965, Autism Society of America was established by Bernard Rimland to improve the lives of all individuals with autism. The research got the momentum since 1970. In the year 1980, the doctors used behavioral therapy and neuro sensory therapy for the first time to the child with autism. Since then, there are lots of research is going on to find out the causes of autism and its treatment to eradicate the sufferings of the autistic children and their parents.
Since then, there are lots of research is going on in full swing in many of the developed countries throughout the world to find out the causes of autism and its treatment to eradicate the sufferings of the autistic children and their parents. But till today nobody could find out the exact causes of autism and any significant curable treatment of it.
World Autism Awareness Day
The main aim of celebrating the World Autism Awareness Day is to spread the gravity of autism among the parents of the autistic children and other people of the world. The second aim is to promote inclusion and acceptance of the autistic children in the normal stream of life. As such the peoples of all walks of life are to be aware of autism and support the autistic children to become self-dependent.
The United Nations realized the rapid growth of this disability throughout the world and decided to stand beside the helpless victims. On November 01, 2007, the United Nations decided in principle to design ‘World Autism Awareness Day’ on any day of a year considering the imminent threat of autism.
On December 18, 2007, the UN General Assembly declared the April 02 as “World Autism Awareness Day” (UN resolution 62/139) and started to observe the day since April 02, 2008.
The UN, through this resolution, invites all Member States, relevant organizations of the UN system and other international organizations, as well as civil societies, including the non-governmental organizations, and the public sector, to observe Autism Awareness Day in a most appropriate manner, in order to raise public awareness on the subject.
Success Story of Our Autism Angel
My autism angel is drawing an artwork at the RTV premises.
The government of Bangladesh celebrates the Autism Day every year since its inception in 2008 to facilitate accommodating the autistic children into the mainstream. Besides the government, different non-governmental and social organizations also arrange different programs and activities to mark the day in a befitting manner.
Mahi has a very good hand of artworks and he tries to draw anything and everything whenever he gets time as well as when he is in a good mood. In this way, he has grown the habit of drawing various types of art and become a very good amateurish artist. But it was not in our knowledge that his level has gone so much up to be recognized at the national level. We never imagine that his any piece of artwork will be recognized at the highest level of the government.
Mahi has a very rich portfolio of his artworks. When he was around 5 years old we could find out his potentiality in drawing. Moreover, he got a strong support from his sister, who is very good in drawing. When his sister used to do drawing then he sat beside her and by this way he learned the drawing. He has very strong initiative for drawing. As such he could have a very good progress in it without the assistance of an exclusive professional teacher.
One a fine morning before the World Autism Awareness Day, one journalist of a private Television Channel RTV, BD, Ms. Munira called me over telephone and informed me that one of the beautiful drawings of our autism angel Ferdous Mahi has been selected to have seemed in the invitation card of a program of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on the World Autism Awareness Day, 02 April 2017.
It was certainly great news for our family and especially for our Mahi. We felt really proud of such an extraordinary achievement. But it may be mentioned that he (Mahi) did not have any feeling hearing such good news. This is the difference between a normal child and an autistic baby. The Almighty has given him the merit of drawing beautiful arts but did not give him any power of celebrating the outstanding accomplishment.
Mahi’s this drawing was placed on the invitation card of the Honourable Prime Minister’s Program on the 10th World Autism Awareness Day. The artwork was in the liberation war of Bangladesh. He drew this art in a competition in the RTV premises in the year 2016 and he received a prize for this beautiful artwork.
After few days, we received the much-desired invitation card where our whole family was invited to attend the program of the World Autism Day where the Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh was the chief guest. On receiving the cards we realized that Mahi has been progressing towards self-determination. So, it was a successful celebration of the day by our family.
Mahi is receiving a memento from the RTV authority for his artwork.
The day was also special for us as Mahi was given special reception on a live TV program by a renowned Television channel RTV for his outstanding achievement in the field of art as an autistic child. It was really thrillful for us when we three (me, Mahi and his mother) were waiting at the backstage green room of the RTV. Mahi along with his mother went on the stage to receive the memento from the RTV authority.
Mahi is receiving a memento from RTV on the World Autism Awareness Day, 2017
It was beyond our imagination that our autistic boy Mahi will bring us such an honor for us. Even we did not think of such a prestigious moment before going to the stage for receiving the memento. It was really a great moment for us. The whole world has witnessed the reception to Mahi as the program was being telecasted live. My only daughter also had the opportunity to witness Mahi’s credit from China.
Mahi is receiving certificate from RTV
On the same day, another art competition was held at the RTV premises among the autistic children. In the competition, Mahi also placed himself in a prestigious position and received a gift and a certificate from the RTV authority.
Mahi is in Group photography with the distinguished guest
Our autism angel Ferdous Mahi has shown his self-determination through his creativity in the field of artworks. He has shown that his limitations and disabilities were not constraints to achieve something extraordinary. He has proved that autistic children are not disabled rather they are differently able and they are capable of doing many things if they get moral supports from others.
Mahi could achieve the honor for the major contribution of his mother. She has taken him to various places to learn the artworks. Here I would like to thank everybody including his school teachers of PROYASH and art masters who all have supported him for his every success and achievement.
We want to see the Autism Day as our source of inspiration to the autistic children. Let us dig out all the outstanding latent merits and skills of all the autistic babies of the world, make them efficient on skills and utilize those to establish them as self-dependent in the society. Then we will be able to listen to their frequent success and they will never be considered as the burden of the society; rather they will be turned into our precious assets.
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