I am seeing people touching on this already, but I wanted to talk about how autism is viewed, not only in Japan, but world wide. It was interesting to read this piece and see the immense amount of support happening and to see something that wasn’t light, but positive, mostly. I think that is an important part of autism no matter where – positivity seems to be the key, both in learning about it, coping with it, and representing it. Realistically, of course, but positive as well. That being said, i wanted to do some research on how autism is actually viewed in Japan and if accommodations are made.
In my research, i found this interesting PDF by both the Senior Chief Researcher at the Department of Educational support in Japan as well as the Senior Chief Researcher for the Information Center of Education for the persons with Developmental Disabilities. It states that only recently has autism been added to the laws and reforms of special needs education, but now that it has, students with autism have access to schools and education catered to children with special needs. It doesn’t go any further than that, but it does project for the future, saying that, “The goal of autistic education is to have children with autism participate socially in a cohesive society.
Beyond this, it lists out ways to make sure that people with ASD are accommodated by means of adjusting living environments, professional development for teachers, understanding characteristics and education, as well as cooperation with relevant organizations like (medical agencies). Take a look, for in depth explanations: http://www.nise.go.jp/kenshuka/josa/kankobutsu/pub_d/d-292/d-292_14.pdf
However, a basic google search also reveals that studies in Japan about vaccines causing autism are popular, as well as ways to “fix” children. I am hoping that the plan in the first source I read is something being implemented in a timely fashion to reduce those stereotypes and negative views.
I also found that Japan has the highest rate of children with autism, being 161 of every 10,000 children. Granted, their population is large, but I found it interesting that even though it is so common, the social awareness of it is still rather low.
I wanted to go a step further and look at ASD and its global perceptions. It was interesting to see how different countries view and deal with children with ASD. For example, in India, it is a popular belief that physical fitness is a mandatory asset to individuals with ASD and while social interaction is something that is worked on at care facilities, so is physical health. ON the other hand, Iceland and its huge healthcare system makes sure children are checked out ages 6-12 and many diagnosis are made, with children being referred to specialists to help educate parents and decide the best coping mechanisms. However, with the system caring for and diagnosing so many people each year, the system still isn’t big enough to care for and treat the growing number of autistic children (http://thescipub.com/PDF/jssp.2012.196.201.pdf).
In conclusion, ASD is something that has only recently been delved into worldwide. The growing advocation for it seems to be reaching even the smaller countries and accommodations are being made. However, it is clear that the world still has a lot left to be educated on.