While autism awareness has grown tremendously in the U.S. in recent years, the same does not always hold true for other countries. Autism does not respect borders; it is a global issue that affects millions of people worldwide. One estimate suggests that 67 million people worldwide are affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
And unfortunately, in some developing countries, people with autism are not well understood. They are subjected to social stigma, and relatives often keep them hidden away in dark rooms. Children with autism are often believed to be possessed by evil spirits because of the sins of the parents. Even worse, many doctors in countries such as Ethiopia have never even heard of ASD. If a child does have the luck to receive an official diagnosis, he might have to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles before reaching the nearest clinic that is capable of treating autism.