As part of its mandate under the United Nations, UNICEF has been promoting the rights and well-being of children living with disabilities, including developmental disabilities.
UNICEF and its partners support the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities through promotion of early intervention. Existing services such as Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) centres supported by UNICEF are used for early detection and intervention which are essential in the health, education and social welfare of children with autistic conditions. The model of IECD Centres has been designed by international and national experts in early childhood development, health, education and social sector.
The overall aim of the early childhood development initiatives is to support and strengthen families, to ensure that all children grow and develop to their full potential, to provide high quality, accessible, affordable early care and education options, and to promote public support and raise awareness of the importance of the early years for the well-being of all children in a community.
Children with, or at risk of developing, intellectual disabilities should be identified at the earliest possible stage through maternal welfare and screening programmes and channelled towards services providing early intervention, preschool education, day care and community health initiatives.