The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina,on Wednesday called for an end to all forms of discrimination against children living with autism.

Maina made the call in a statement to commemorate the 2014 Autism Awareness Day in Abuja.

The theme for the event was, `A Better World for Autism’.  Maina said there was a need for effective collaboration with stakeholders to create awareness on early detection, prevalence, intervention and protection of the rights of children with autism in Nigeria.

“World Autism Awareness Day is meant to spur action and draw attention to the unacceptable discrimination, abuse and isolation experienced by people with autism and their loved ones.

“As highlighted by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, people with autism are citizens who should enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms,” she said.

The statement described Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as a general term used for a group of complex disorders of brain development.

These disorders are characterized in varying degrees by difficulties in social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication, restrictive and repetitive behaviour and limited set of interest and activities.

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