ISLAMABAD Speakers on Thursday urged the government to take maximum initiative to establish schools or centres for autistic children, which also contain the diagnostic facilities. They expressed these views while addressing seminar held to mark the world Autism day on Thursday. The seminar was organized by Payaam a volunteer and a non-profit organization). The seminar aimed creating awareness among the masses in order to gain support from the society for Autistic people so that they can live a content and meaningful life. The United Nations General Assembly, by unanimous consent, passed the resolution of the Third Committee designating April 2nd as WAAD in perpetuity starting in 2008. Autism is basically a severe developmental disorder that begins at birth or within the first two-and-a-half years of life. Most autistic children are perfectly normal in appearance, but spend their time engaged in puzzling and disturbing behaviors which are markedly different from those of typical children. According to Autism Society of America the incidence of autism can be as high as 4 persons in every 1000 and it is three times more common than the Downs Syndrome. Speaking on the occasion guest speakers, Dr. Matloob Azam, Associate Professor & Pediatric Neurologist, Childrens Hospital, PIMS termed Autism is a lifelong disorder. Its severity ranges from mild cases in which the autistic person can live independently, to severe forms in which the patient requires social support and medical supervision throughout his or her life he continued. He said that in Pakistan people are not much well aware of the autism. It is mainly because of the less awareness about this disability. Sharing the symptoms of Autism he said it includes Disturbed Communication Skills, Resistance to Change and Behavioral Abnormalities among others. In early stages diagnosing autism might be difficult very difficult. The child may not have any outstanding feature that can help in its early diagnosis said Haleema Saadia, ABA Therapist and also Mother of an Autistic Child. However in general the following signs and symptoms indicate presence of Autism; impaired social interaction, impaired/absent peer communication and attachment to routine such as excess/ and or low-responsively to sensory input, Repetitive play without imagination or fantasy, Inappropriate or flat affect, Self-motivating behavior, Disturbances of developmental rate, Mental Retardation and so on. Though Autism affects males four times more often than females, and there is a genetic basis for the disorder. She urged the parents that if they find any symptoms of autism in their child they should not waste time and take their child to a doctor for the treatment. Addressing the participants Khalid Naeem, Director General, Ministry of Social Welfare said that autism is an important health issues that need to be addressed. And this can only be done by creating awareness among the general public about it. He urged everyone especially media to play its role in this regard and assured full support of his Ministry. Khaild Naeem appreciated the efforts of Payaam for organizing this seminar and taking this initiative of imparting knowledge among the masses. Speaking on the occasion Basit Subhani, President Payaam said that Payaam is committed to bring such health issues in to limelight that are ignored but need especial attention. And by organizing this seminar it was the first step towards this objective. He said that Payaam through its various projects is trying to provide better living for the people with disabilities and underprivileged segment of our society.