jueves, 26 de marzo de 2009


Dear friends,

The first anniversary of the UN declaration of the World Autism Awareness Day is about to be marked – on 2nd of April. –Even though the support movement associated with this disability began operating in the sixties and seventies, the struggle has been hard and the efforts intense. At last, we feel that people with autism are ceasing to be “invisible citizens”.

We have come a long way since Leo Kanner defined autism to the present day when the current definition has been expanded to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD).

It has been a difficult and arduous journey but objectives have always been achieved. The causes of autism remain unclear but, over all, we can state with certainty that there have been spectacular advances in treatments. One reason for this is that we have been able to build upon the studies and research from the previous two decades and have improved upon these treatments to great effect. We should not forget that the expansion in the definition is the result of acquired knowledge. This has resulted in an even greater impact.

Indeed there are so many persons all around the world experiencing or suffering from autism that our first obligation must be to watch over them, to attract attention and formulate legislation that defends their rights. We must also ensure that these laws are obeyed.

In a world full of conflicts, could there be better examples than our own children? They are so beautiful and yet isolated that they encourage us to become their protectors to assure a place inside the society along the entire cycle of their lives. It is our responsibility and we accept it with full knowledge of the consequences and being immune to discouragement. Sooner or later we will achieve our aim.

This year the World Autism Organization will be the representative of all these parents, professionals, related people and organizations. Firstly, we exist as a statement of the indisputable presence of the people with ASD all around the world. In the UN we will make our voice heard. This is the voice of the people with autism, and we will demand that the laws be obeyed and that there are improvements in the laws that already exist to the extent that all parties are satisfied. People with autism are, like the rest of society, citizens full rights. They are our reason to keep working, because, my dear friends, people with autism spectrum disorder are NOT “Invisible Citizens” and together, we will persist in claiming the attention and care required.

Even though I cannot accompany you physically, please think that I am at your side and I will bear you all in mind during WAO’s activities inside the UN.

These are happy days for celebrations but we cannot go with the flow, we have lots of steps to walk yet so we must keep together to achieve our common commitment to PEOPLE WITH AUTISM.

Madrid, 25th on March de 2009

Mª Isabel Bayonas Ibarra

2 comentarios:

Hammie dijo...

Hola - From Ireland and Good luck with the Big Day.
We have a few celebrations of our own planned, some big and some small.

Hope we can continue to raise awareness together.

lisadom dijo...

Hola, We are looking forward to the big day here too.
The more who join us, the better the world will understand.