Desmond de Silva appeals on Autism in Sri Lanka
Superstar, Desmond de Silva, who created history by becoming the first ever Sri Lankan artiste to appeal on behalf of the 38,000 people with autism and Asperger's Syndrome on the island.
Children and people with autism and Asperger's Syndrome struggle without access the public services of health, education, specialist speech therapy and respite care. There are only a handful of private schools catering to the needs of autistic children in Sri Lanka. The Autism Awareness Campaign Sri Lanka have been appealing for more public services for all people with autism and Asperger's Syndrome on the island. The numbers of autistic children are rising in Sri Lanka and all over the world.Sri Lankan teachers and medical professionals need to receive training on strategies to deal with autism and Asperger's Syndrome. Many of these children are kept at home and do not have access to education.Many Sri Lankan children remain undiagnosed and parents are desperate for help.
Desmond de Silva is one of Sri Lanka's popular entertainers and is known as the 'King of Baila.' De Silva has performed all over the world and sold huge quantities of Baila CDs. He is the first top class musician to speak on a public stage in Colombo about children and people with autism.
The occasion was a 'Grand Salute to Vijaya Corea' the former Director-General of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in Colombo who celebrated 40 years in showbizness. The music show was held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Hall and organised by DR Entertainment. De Silva presented Vijaya Corea with a 'Lifetime Achievement Award' for raising awareness of autism. Vijaya Corea received a standing ovation from over 1,500 people present at the concert. Also present was the distinguished European Union parliamentarian, Nirj Deva MEP who is currently visiting Sri Lanka.
Desmond De Silva said in Colombo: ' Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder affecting so many around the world. Autism is not mental illness, these children and adults think differently. Albert Einstein they say was autistic. How many in the audience know that there are 38,000 autistic people in Sri Lanka? So we as entertainers, urge you all to ‘speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.’ Lets spread awareness of autism, particularly when numbers of autistic children are rising and we urge our government to also provide public services – who knows we may even produce Albert Einsteins if we provide education, health, specialist speech therapy for autistic children in our lovely island....'