This website is a non-profit project to help increase Autism Awareness in Pakistan. This is a self-funded independant project by South Asia and Pakistan's first Self Advocate for the Autism Spectrum. When I started this website in 2006, most doctors and educators in Pakistan and the South Asian region did not know about Autism, however parent-led efforts and annual media interviews have made progress. An Autism training centre for mother-child training was started in Gulshan-e-iqbal at karachi, by AFA-India trained special educator Roohi Maroof and her husband Dr Maroof. This Centre for Autism trained its first batch of special educators in June 2009 and continue to do good work, training doctors at the National Institute for Child Health (NICH) at Karachi. The Pakistan Autism Meetup Group's online forum has united Pakistani-origin parents of children with autism since 2003, run by parent Saira Salman, who is currently living in Canada. Some of the earliest Autism Awareness work in Pakistan was done by parent Rukhsana Shah of Lahore, who now lives in Islamabad. My work started in 2006 when I self diagnosed my own Aspergers Syndrome and started cooperating and learning from leading Autism experts internationally, transferring knowlege to Pakistani special educators. To continue these efforts we regularly hold seminars, workshops and lectures by visiting experts for public, parents, caregivers, special educators and doctors.
We provide links between the media and a large number of parents so that we can help nearby countries in our regional and global cause for Autism Awareness, Rights, Legislation, Training and facilities. The first South Asian conference for Autism was held in Lahore, Pakistan in 2005, the second South Asian Autism Conference was held in Delhi, India in January 2008 and the third South Asian Autism Conference was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in January 2009. The fourth South Asian conference for Autism was planned to be held in Sri Lanka or Pakistan, but all efforts were abandoned due to the security and economic situation in South Asia. We hope that the situation improves soon as regional cooperation is required to tackle the Autism situation. We have simillar problems and simillar solutions and there is much to learn and share with each other. We look forward to independant and government led efforts for Autism awareness, research and services in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan (SAARC countries).
This website is run by voluntary information provided by parents, doctors, special educators and social workers who meet through the Pakistan Autism Meetup Group. in Autism Resource Centres across Pakistan.