Saturday, November 25, 2017

Unique Glimpses: Art book to showcase autistic children’s capabilities

  • Senior Correspondent
    Published: 2017-04-06 01:55:25 BdST


A collection of over 250 paintings from children with autism and other neurodevelopment diseases has been launched in Bangladesh.

Saima Wazed Hossain, who spearheads mental health issues, compiled and edited the book styled ‘Unique Glimpses’.

The book was launched at the assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Dhaka on Tuesday, said a statement.

Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and IPU President Saber Hossain Chowdhury were also present at the ceremony, among others.

Autism is used in general to describe a group of complex developmental brain problems – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences.

It usually appears in the first three years of life and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills.

Those children cannot pick up self-care tasks – dressing, self-feeding, using the toilet and others – by watching and imitating. They do not make eye-to-eye contact and have a single-track thought process.

They show talents in a specific field such as music and paintings.

Saima, daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, brought the autism issue to the fore in Bangladesh by hosting a regional conference in 2O11.

She is also an US-licensed school psychologist.

As a result of her efforts, the Neurodevelopmental Disability Protection Trust Act 2013 has been passed in Bangladesh. The United Nations adopted several resolutions based on her proposals.

WHO also awarded her in September 2014 with ‘Excellence in Public Health Award’, recognising that she had put autism on WHO’s map. She is also a member of the WHO expert panel on mental health.

This year before World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, WHO announced her as ‘WHO Champion for Autism’ in South East Asia Region.