To help raise awareness of and acceptance for people in Qatar with autism, local organizations have launched informative videos and are holding campaigns in malls today about the condition.
Autism is a disorder that affects the brain’s development of social and communication skills, making it difficult for people to form relationships.
Its cause remains unknown, though both genetics and environmental factors are thought to play a role, according to Autism Speaks.
More people are now being diagnosed with the condition, which typically manifests by the time children are two or three years old.
Today is World Autism Awareness Day, a UN-designated day that began nine years ago after being proposed by Qatar’s UN ambassador in 2007.
— Qatar Mission to UN 🇶🇦 (@QatarAtUN) April 2, 2016
In Qatar, research has been underway to better understand the disorder.
The Peninsula reports that Qatar University is testing out the use of socially interactive robots to help children with autism to improve their communication skills.
There are also public campaigns going on to raise awareness of autism.
Today, several malls including Landmark Ezdan set up kiosks and offered information related to the disorder:
— مركز قـطـر التطـوعي (@voluntaryqa) April 2, 2016
— Ezdan Mall (@EzdanMall) April 2, 2016