Autism has been a problem in Indonesia. This country has serious limited resources available for increasing understanding of autism. Until now, there have been no specific reports or data compiled on autism in Indonesia. This is due to the lack of any suitable system of education or information sharing related to the disorder, insufficient public awareness of affliction and the inability of the medical sector to accurately extent the problem.
What is the meaning of autism? Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impairment in social interaction, communication and restricted and repetitive behavior, all exhibited before a child reaches three years old.
In order to increase the awareness of autism in Indonesia has to be initiated by the Medical Department of Indonesia. As the first step, they initially have to obtain en exact and truly reliable figure of children suffering from Autism and any other related disorders. Indonesia has to encourage any researches, though they will cost much.
Secondly, Indonesia can form more autism organizations or foundations that concerns a lot about this problem. Medical Department of Indonesia may educate practitioners of autism, and persuasively take them to join autism organizations. These practitioners are effective to educate public and to hold any program to raise the awareness of autism.
Autism organizations may design a National Autism Awareness Month and hold any programs on both National Awareness Month and World Awareness Day, which is April 2. Seminars, events, and merchandises will effectively encourage people to get aware of autism.
Seminars and events are good to educate people about autism, its causes, its effects, the symptoms, and some other special characters shown by this disorder. People also need to be well-informed how to treat children with autism, because they can’t interpret the world in normal way. Seminars should be targeted more to two main areas, campus students, because they can cooperate well with practitioners, as volunteers to raise the awareness of autism; and parents of children with autism, because they have to deal with their children on daily basis. They should avoid lacking for communication with their children; information to overcome the tantrums that sometimes occur; and also knowledge about children’s body as well, what kind of food they should or should not consume, what they might digest well, etc.
To raise awareness of autism, organizations should produce many supporting products bearing the symbol of puzzle piece, which is the symbol of World Autism Awareness movements; or one might talk about products specially designed for autistic children. The first type of products varies from bracelets, necklaces, tote bags, stickers, car magnets, ribbons, silk ties, pins, printed t-shirts, and other merchandises that carry the symbol of puzzle piece.
Autism organizations and foundations may utilize the function of technology in order to communicate about this problem, for example blogging, mailing list, messengers, social networking websites (facebook, myspace, etc). Indonesian modern and open-minded people tend to spend most of their time in internet. So it is a very recommended way to reach supports from this kind of people.
So, Indonesia needs to do a lot of steps to raise awareness of autism, starts from the very beginning, in which Indonesia still lacks for, until the touch of communication technology to reach people to support the campaigns.