Children with autism will be able to integrate into the community and make contributions to the society if their condition is early detected and treated in an appropriate way, heard a workshop in Hanoi on December 2.

The workshop was jointly held by the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the Asia-Pacific Development Centre on Disability and the Vietnam Autism Network, offering a chance for both domestic and international experts and parents of autistic children to discuss autism-related information and policies and make recommendations to support this group.

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

Vietnam is seeing a rapidly increasing number of children with autism, the most common among the disabilities at school.

According to an online survey of 125 parents of autistic children, their biggest concern is their children’s future as intervention services in Vietnam have yet to help the children live independently, while many of them don’t have enough money to follow long-term treatment.

Participants at the workshop said that there are still no legal documents on autism in Vietnam. They suggested the Government put forth policies to support people with autism and their families as well as intensifying communication campaigns to raise public awareness of autistic children.-VNA