Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's National Commission on Disability (KND) has urged the community to treat children with autism equally, sans negative stigma.

"Do not see them negatively, see them just the way they are, only with a few limitations," KND deputy chairperson Deka Kurniawan said when contacted here on Tuesday.

He made the remarks in relation to World Autism Awareness Day, which is commemorated every April 2.

According to him, the community still views the limitations that autistic people have as weaknesses, while in fact, those limitations can be overcome if everyone works together to provide what autistic individuals need, namely proper accommodation.

He said that to encourage people and children with autism to interact normally, especially during learning activities, the law has mandated that the environment — be it family, community, or school — build understanding regarding autistic people to eliminate the negative stigma surrounding them.

"They need to be given the opportunity to be able to communicate according to the limitations they have," he explained.

He further said that not all children with autism have good communication capabilities, therefore the community must understand what their needs are.

"They cannot regulate themselves, cannot maintain focus, cannot follow orders, and cannot follow common social rules," he expounded.

According to him, during learning activities, children with autism must be provided visual support.

In addition, they must be given sequential information while doing activities so they can understand instructions more easily. Further, to help them understand learning materials, information needs to be communicated slowly.

"In general, they also have the right to be free from stigma; do not see them negatively. Give them a chance; they are also capable," he said.

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Translator: Lintang Budiyanti, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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