February 18 is International Asperger’s Day, a date established to highlight the importance of Asperger’s Syndrome for individuals and society, to create awareness and understanding of the condition and promote inclusion of those who have it.
The World Health Organization (WHO) describes Asperger’s as a Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), “a group of complex brain development disorders characterized by difficulties in social interaction and communication and repetitive repertoire of interests and activities.” According to information gathered by the WHO, one child in every 160 has an ASD, which could be atypical autism, child autism or Asperger’s. However, the institution believes the real figure could be higher. Usually, ASD appears in the first five years of life and persist during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. The causes of these conditions are attributed to genetic and environmental factors.
In 2014, the WHO approved a resolution to strength each country’s capacity to deal with autistic conditions and other development disorders like Asperger’s. The steps to achieve this are listed on the WHO´s Action Plan for Mental Health 2013-2020. The main objectives are to take leadership and effective governance on mental health issues, provide communities with complex mental healthcare, establish awareness campaigns and build strong information systems.
In Mexico, Asperger México is a civil organization supported by private institutions that promotes inclusion and the autonomy of people with Asperger’s. The organization sponsors educational programs, access to therapists, support groups and family counseling.