The establishment of an autistic network in Vietnam is needed to raise public awareness of the rights of people with autism in particular and disabled people in general.

So said Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam at a workshop in Hanoi on August 29.

Jointly organised by the ministry, the ASEAN Autism Network and the Asia - Pacific Development Centre on Disability, the workshop aimed to discuss policies and activities to support autistic children in Vietnam, thus helping them integrate into the community.

It also deliberated plans to promote cooperation among ASEAN member nations in the field.

According to Dam, autism is a neural development condition characterised by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication, and by restricted, repetitive or stereotyped behaviour.

Dam said Vietnam sees an increasing number of children with autism, adding that autistic people are able to integrate into the community and make their contributions to society if their condition is timely discovered and treated in an appropriate manner.

The workshop is a good chance for parents from many localities across Vietnam to share knowledge on autism as well as their experience in caring for autistic children.-VNA