Etihad Aviation Group, in cooperation with Emirates Autism Society, supported World Autism Awareness Month by organising a series of events and activities during the first week of April.

Highlighting the need for increased awareness and understanding of autism, Etihad hosted an awareness workshop at its Training Academy. The workshop featured an informative presentation by Sheena Kathleen Reynolds, an Occupational Therapist from the Wilson Centre for Child Development. A short documentary named “Lemonade” was also broadcast to the audience. The documentary highlighted the difficulties, hopes and aspirations of families of autistic adults.

An exclusive innovation gallery of artwork and robots crafted by individuals with autism was also held in conjunction with the staff event.

Yousef and Kareem, two children who dream of becoming television presenters, hosted the event and welcomed the speakers and the guests.

Khaled Al Mehairbi, Senior Vice President of Abu Dhabi Airport Operations and Chairman of the Sports and Social Committee at Etihad Airways, said: “We are delighted to cooperate with Emirates Autism Society to increase awareness of autism in the hope of improving the lives of children and adults with autism and better integrate them into society. We look forward to continuing our support of Autism Awareness Month within the UAE.”

Etihad has also joined thousands of businesses, buildings and iconic landmarks in ‘Light It Up Blue’ – a global initiative on World Autism Awareness Day which falls on 2 April - by lighting the exterior of its facilities as well as the interiors of its Abu Dhabi Airport premium lounges with blue, the globally recognised colour for autism, and invited its non-uniformed staff to wear casual clothes with a touch of blue.

Pins and flyers with autism awareness information were distributed to guests at Abu Dhabi International Airport by children from Emirates Autism Society.

Autism is a developmental disorder encompassing severe abnormalities in reciprocal social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, accompanied by restricted and repetitive behaviours and interests. These behavioural symptoms are present in very early childhood, before the age of 36 months. Continuous efforts are made across the UAE to promote awareness of Autism and integrate autistic individuals within the society.