Autism in Nepal and Family Struggle

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Being born with ASD is both devastating and challenging for a person. The severity is exponentially so when a Nepali is born with disabilities. Children with ASD are not only severely discriminated against and excluded from the society; they are also often deprived of the necessities such as education and many other basic human rights. There is not much support and intervention by the state for the families with ASD children and in almost all the cases, the parents of the ASD are burdened with the long-term management of their children.

Although distress of children with ASD is prevalent in all communities, those born into families with medium to almost no income are the most vulnerable and are at a greater need for assistance.  As these families are often struggling just to obtain basic food and shelter, they cannot afford the time to take care of their children nor can they afford the costs associated with sending these children to specialized schools.

Despite strong efforts to increase awareness among parents to provide education to their children, not much has been achieved. This is partly due to the fact that there are not enough specialized schools that offer specialized education tailored to the needs of ASD. Another reason why there has been so little involvement of ASD children in the education system is because people of lower social economic status simply cannot afford the cost of education, therapies and many times think that it is simply a waste of money. Further, many NGOs have the impression that ASD children should be taken under the care of the state and subsequently are often very reluctant to invest in the education and training services for the ASD.