“Embrace Differences and Unite: Raising Autism Awareness Through Music in Sri Lanka”

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Many of history’s greatest figures such as Mozart and Albert Einstein may have had autism. They not only excelled in life but changed the world we live in through their contributions in the fields of music and mathematics.

Autism is prevalent around the world, but every country and culture provides a different context and requires different approaches to raise awareness. Autism awareness is growing in Sri Lanka, but it is growing slowly and only through the hard work of few institutions, initiatives, and dedicated individuals. Awareness must be raised across Sri Lanka’s diverse population, across rural areas as well as cities.

Speech delay is the most common reason and they have challenges with communication and social skills. They often find it hard to have conversations and may not notice social cues.qualified early screening and awareness are essential to improve the lives of both affected children and their caregivers.Many studies found that music helps those with autism to develop better social skills and generate confidence in them.From as early as 1943, when autism was first described in Leo Kanner’s paper on the illness, autistic children have shown exceptional musical abilities and interest. Autistic children have been shown to have advanced abilities in the labeling of emotions in music, memorization of musical melodies, and in the categorization of pitch.In order to help raise the awareness about the importance of music in handling ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) children, we designed a musical show under the tagline “ Embrace Differences, Help Raise Autism Awareness, Let’s Unite”.

Through DULEETHARANGA, musical event, we provide the platform for autistic children to showcase their talents.It’s really amazing to see how much these children enjoy and appreciate being looked after and giving them the opportunity to perform which they probably never done before. A big dream of them will become true. This is the difference we make through our show. First event of this initiative was held on Saturday 9th September at BMICH organized by Tharanga Vithanage and Dulari Fernando and backed by well wishers and friends in Sri Lanka and Australia.

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