Special Education Teacher Dawa Drukpa (left)

Autism through the eyes of teacher Dawa Drukpa

On 24 October 2023 the first-ever book on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by a Bhutanese author was launched at the Changangkha Middle Secondary School, Thimphu.

Dawa Drukpa, the author of the book, is a Special Education Teacher, and has been teaching children with autism and other multiple disabilities for the past 9 years. He earned his Master’s degree in Inclusive Education from Paro College of Education in 2021. He has written several research papers and presented in the international seminars as well. This is the fifth book written by Dawa Drukpa.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) constitutes a diverse group of conditions. They are characterized by some degree of difficulty with social interaction and communication. Other characteristics are a typical pattern of activities and behaviors, such as difficulty with transition from one activity to another, a focus on details and unusual reactions to sensations.

Through the book, Dawa shares his research on ASD over the years, strives to provide tangible guidance, share real-life experiences of mothers and teachers who deal kids with autism on regular basis, and propose solutions to address the significant challenges posed by autism.

Talking with the author, he shared that, “My decision to write the nonfiction work ‘Autism Through My Eyes: Making the Right Choices for Your Child’ is driven by a profound sense of responsibility and a desire to make a meaningful impact on the lives of individuals with autism and their families. Through this book, I hope to advocate for better support, inclusion, and acceptance of individuals with autism, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive and compassionate world.”

“By sharing these narratives, advice, and resources, I seek to create a supportive network where people can connect, learn from one another, and find comfort in the knowledge that they are not alone on their journey,” he added.

The author emphasizes that autism has had a profound impact on numerous families worldwide.

According to WHO, every 1 in 100 children has autism. It is found that boys are diagnosed at a rate four times higher than girls. 

The primary objective of the book is to serve as a platform offering valuable guidance, strategies, and practical advice to assist individuals with autism in navigating their challenging journey. Furthermore, it aims to empower parents, caregivers, educators, and policymakers to make informed decisions regarding children with autism.

In addition, the author intends for the book to underscore the necessity for societal, educational, and healthcare system changes.

Through this book, Dawa Drukpa aims to share that we can all work together to create a world where individuals with autism are not just accepted but celebrated for their unique strengths and perspectives.

He started the work on the book back in 2021 and took him almost 3 years to complete it.

In Bhutan, there is no concrete data on ASD, however, the Ability Bhutan Society (ABS) in Thimphu has 67 children with ASD registered in the center, with 56 male and 11 female.

Furthermore, Changangkha Middle Secondary School under Thimphu Thromdre has 29 children and Yangchen Gatshel Central School under Thimphu has four children with autism.

The actual numbers are much higher.  

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