Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in stamps and philately

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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in stamps and philately

Post by ebormelo »

From: Journal of Neurological Sciences [Turkish] 31:(2)# 40; 426-434, 2014:

Autism is considered as one of the five pervasive developmental disorders , which are characterized by widespread abnormalities of social interactions and communication, and severely restricted interests and highly repetitive behavior. Genomic research is beginning to discover that people with autism spectrum disorders probably share genetic traits with individuals with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or clinical depression.

Autism is known as a complex developmental disability. Experts believe that autism presents itself during the first three years of a person's life. The condition is the result of a neurological disorder that has an effect on normal brain function, affecting development of the person's communication and social interaction skills
”.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or simply autism, is still a little explored topic in philately, with few issues so far. Even COVID-19 already exceeds emissions related to this topic. However, I believe that considering, mainly, the significant increase in the number of cases each year (currently 1 in 52 live births manifest some degree of autism), in addition to this the necessary evolution of diagnostic methods, of therapeutic-cognitive approaches, of new drugs to support patients (several are currently undergoing clinical trials), I believe that there is a good chance that this topic will become more frequent over the next few years.

This scientific article is very interesting, and deals with exactly this subject, and helped me a little in the construction of this post. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263357347_Medicine_ ... _Philately. That's where I got the introductory paragraph. This other post (in Portuguese) was also very useful, where I found some issues that I couldn't find anywhere else: https://www.filatelista-tematico-blog.net/abril-quebra-cabeca/.

Considering the limited availability of stamps, cancellations, and other philatelic pieces on the subject, I divided the subject into two main topics: 1) EMISSIONS THAT TREAT THE SUBJECT DIRECTLY; and 2) EMISSIONS WHERE AUTISM HAS AN INDIRECT RELATIONSHIP. I count on the help of everyone to help me complete this listing in the best possible way, especially item 2 (which I will deal with in a future post).

A subject that I raised and that contemplates this point are PERSONALITIES WITH AUTISM, OR CONSIDERED AUTISTIC. In this case, a detailed survey will be necessary. This report presents some of these personalities, and see that it is a good amount, especially if we consider historical figures: https://www.autismcommunity.org.au/famous---with-autism.html

In this post I will deal only with TOPIC 1. I will be placing only the images of the main stamps, but I am interested in the stamps, FDC with stamp and cancellation, and complete sheets (with cancellation or not). I am also interested in emissions that were only cancellations and/or FDCs (in this case, I found emissions from ITALY, AUSTRALIA and INDIA).


1) EMISSIONS THAT TREAT THE SUBJECT DIRECTLY


1. Brazil. 2014. MERCOSUR ISSUE: Fight Against Discrimination - AUTISM
BRASIL.jpg

2. Spain. 2020. World Autism Awareness Day
ESPANHA.jpg

3. Croatia. 2017. Autism - Living in their Own World
CROACIA.jpg

4. Uruguay. 2013. World Autism Awareness Day
URUGUAY.jpg

5. India. 2003. International Conference on Autism
india.jpg

6. United Nations. 2013. Autism Awareness
ONU.jpg


7. Algeria. 2016. Solidarity - World Autism Day.
Algeria-1.jpg
algeria-2.jpg

8. Peru. 2016. World Autism Awareness Day.
Peru.jpg

9. Kuwait. 2014. Autism International Conference
Kwait-1.jpg

10. Kuwait. 2000. International Conference on Autism
Kuwait-2.jpg

11. United Arab Emirates. 2006. GCC Day for Autistic Children.
EAU.jpg

12. India. 2008. SPECIAL COVER + CANCELLATION (no stamp?). International Conference on Autism - The Future Defined
India-envelope+carimbo.jpg

13. Serra Leone. 2017. Service dogs (one stamp with the autism theme).
SERVICE-DOGS.jpg

14. Canadá. 2011. Mental Health (obs: although it does not directly mention autism, it brings the multicolored puzzle, one of the symbols of autismo).
CANADA-MENTAL-HEALTH.jpg

15. Italy. 2012 - 2014. SPECIAL CANCELLATIONS. World Autism Awareness Day.
Carimbos-italia.jpg

16. Austrália. 2006 ?. SPECIAL CANCELLATION. Autism Spectrum Australia.
Imagem salva.
Carimbo-australia.jpg
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by Global Administrator »

.
Interesting topic.

Stamp issues aside, my observation after 40+ years of dealing is that the % of stamp collectors with Autism would be MANNNNNNNNNNNNY times higher than the population at large.

Glen
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by ebormelo »

Global Administrator wrote: 11 Sep 2020 12:22 .
Interesting topic.

Stamp issues aside, my observation after 40+ years of dealing is that the % of stamp collectors with Autism would be MANNNNNNNNNNNNY times higher than the population at large.

Glen

If I am not mistaken, scientific research on this subject has already been done and published ... due to the need for methodical organization, it is a subject that attracts people with ASD.

I will try to locate this study and post the link here.
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by Eli »

Very unusual and interesting subject and thanks you share with us. Looking forward to see more from this collection. I searched a little and find Israel didn't issue any stamp on this subject, only one general about "Mental Health" issued in 2005.
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by ebormelo »

Eli wrote: 11 Sep 2020 15:53 Very unusual and interesting subject and thanks you share with us. Looking forward to see more from this collection. I searched a little and find Israel didn't issue any stamp on this subject, only one general about "Mental Health" issued in 2005.

This one?
Israel.jpg



I found this edition of Israel on EBAY in the United States. But it's a personalized stamp, probably at someone's request. But I wondered if it could be at the request of some philanthropic organization, something like that. Could you tell? http://encurtador.com.br/devS3


caes-autismo-Israel.jpg
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by Eli »

Yes, this is the stamp I meant.

About the sheet, I know the collector who produces this kind of personalised sheets, I think it is not ordered by some organisation or someone request but his personnel initiative. Let me ask him about this specific one just to be sure.
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by muruk »

Autism is not actually a disorder, it is genetic diversity.
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by The Pom »

muruk wrote: 12 Sep 2020 09:57 Autism is not actually a disorder, it is genetic diversity.
As someone with autistic friends & relatives, a strong pro-disabled personal stance and a degree in biochemistry I'd like to respond to muruk's comment.

If you Google Autism Spectrum Disorder, you will find that pretty much every reputable medical authority on the planet regards it as a genuine, diagnosable medical condition.

For example:

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd/index.shtml

Autism support charities/organisations take this view.

While I can see some value in muruk's apparent desire to de-stigmatise the condition by implying that "There is no wrong, just variations on the theme of correct", I think this cannot be supported by science or reason. The simple fact is that there are some pretty horrible inherited medical conditions caused by genetic "things going wrong". To call these "diversity" is to trivialise the conditions which can have appalling effects on those unfortunate enough to be affected by them.

It seems to be part of modern society to try to put a positive spin on things that is simply denial of the realities of the situation. For example, there was a fund-raising event held a while back for a child who lives near me who is deaf, dumb, blind, quadriplegic, doubly incontinent & fed through a tube. She is kept alive by machines. Local press described her as having "learning difficulties", which I thought was hugely insulting.

My friends & relatives with varying forms of autism are mostly very well aware that they have problems/issues/challenges dealing with life/call it what you will. I think they would all be upset to have their situation trivialised by "de-classifying" it to a variant of "normal".

To pretend that certain conditions are not medical disorders is to say to those affected by them "There's nothing wrong with you, get on with it". The worst thing you can do with a condition is deny it exists.

Personal opinions over.

From a Moderator perspective, can we, from this point onward, please confine the topic to autism & philately.
If anyone wishes to continue a conversation on the topic of autism in general, a separate topic in one of the non-philatelic sections of the Board would seem to be the correct way forward.
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by arnabjoy »

Apart from the specific 2003 issue on Autism that ebormelo has already highlighted in the OP, there was another issue on mental health in 1974 by India Post, titled Help The Retardates.

The stamp is as below. Image taken from India Post website.
1974 mental retards.jpg
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

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ebormelo wrote: 11 Sep 2020 12:55
Global Administrator wrote: 11 Sep 2020 12:22 .
Interesting topic.

Stamp issues aside, my observation after 40+ years of dealing is that the % of stamp collectors with Autism would be MANNNNNNNNNNNNY times higher than the population at large.

Glen

If I am not mistaken, scientific research on this subject has already been done and published ... due to the need for methodical organization, it is a subject that attracts people with ASD.

I will try to locate this study and post the link here.
.

I'd really like to read it, by all means. :mrgreen:

I cannot recall this issue being raised here in 15 years, and given the HUGE first-hand evidence of the attraction of stamp collecting to many on the spectrum, I'd like to see the scientific figures on it.

Glen
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by ebormelo »

A new addition to my list of topic 1, issued right here in Brazil, last year: personalized stamp in honor of the 100th anniversary of LITTLE PRINCE HOSPITAL, children's hospital and research center, located in Curitiba, capital of the state where I live, Paraná. It fits directly and indirectly in the theme, because although it is not exclusive, it is also a reference center for clinical care for autistic children, including severe cases that need hospitalization in certain situations (epilepsy, severe crises in autistic grade 3 which requires hospitalization and monitoring, neurological care, surgery, etc.).

The son of an acquaintance, probably the most serious autistic person in my city, recently had such a serious crisis, became so violent, that he needed to be medicated and was transferred to this hospital, even though he was far from our hospital (500 km) for admission, clinical examinations and specialized monitoring.

Hospital's page:
English: http://pequenoprincipe.org.br/en/
Portuguese: http://pequenoprincipe.org.br/hospital/
Journalistic report on the launch of the seal (in Portuguese): http://pequenoprincipe.org.br/noticia/correios-lancam-selo-c ... -principe/


Stamps:
Brasil-pequeno-principe.jpg

Special cancellation
Carimbo-pequeno-principe.jpg

Sheet:
Folha-pequeno-principe.jpg
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by ebormelo »

With my research on the internet, I identified these three interesting pieces about autism. But I didn't find any information about them. Can anyone help me get more information about them?

EUA-CARIMBO.jpg
USA - cancellation related with a "Telethon" event.

Cinderela-Australia.jpg
Australia - Christmas Cinderella and Autism

FRANÇA.jpg
France - Cinderella?
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by ebormelo »

17. Togo. 2017. Handicap International/Rotary Club (one stamp with the autism theme).

TOGO.jpg
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by ebormelo »

A Brazilian issue that is indirectly related to autism: History of Brazilian Computing.

From http://shopping.correios.com.br/wbm/store/script/wbm2400901 ... ZhtBFDIwk=:

The issue consists of three stamps that present a frontal reproduction of the first studies and projects of national computers: the Zezinho, Patinho Feio and Cobra-530 (the last is the first commercial computer fully produced in Brazil). To record the story, the artist entered the completion dates of the projects and tinted each one in shades of blue, green and yellow, making reference to the national flag. The illustration was done in the Flat Design and computer graphics style. The stamp sheet contains a quote from Alan Turing, considered the Father of Computing, written in binary ASCII code.

From https://imasters.com.br/noticia/alan-turing-pai-da-computaca ... -pela-bbc :

The BBC Icons series, by the British television broadcaster BBC, named Turing as a 20th century icon. According to Loving Manchester site, TV presenter Chris Packham delivered an emotional speech about the work of the father of computing during the program. Chris said Turing was "a genius, a savior, but he was also autistic and gay, so we betrayed him and led him to suicide". "Shame. An unforgiving mark on the conscience of humanity ”, added the presenter.

BRASIL-FOLHA-COM-FRASE-DE-ALAN-TURING.JPG
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by ebormelo »

Another issue that, although not directly related to autism, has an autistic character: Julia, from Vila Sésamo.

From https://postalnews.com/blog/2019/06/22/sesame-street-forever ... r-purchase/:

Julia, one of the most recent additions to the Sesame Street cast, is a 4-year-old with autism who likes to paint and pick flowers. She and her friends demonstrate a more compassionate understanding of children with autism spectrum disorders.

USA-Sesame-Street-Sheet.jpg
EUA-Sesame-Street-Julia.jpg
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by ebormelo »

I found a new postmark about autism.


Carimbo-inglaterra.jpeg
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by kuikka »

ebormelo wrote: 03 Oct 2020 04:00
...

Image

France - Cinderella?
It says at the bottom of this stamp: 'Lettre prioritaire 20 g'. 20 g priority letter. This is a NVI postage stamp. Possibly personalized.
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by Princestamps »

Autism in many ways is a syndrome/disorder that we are still finding out about. I had no idea what caused my delays in talking and walking and my current lack of social queues and appropriate speech until 1996 when I was 20.

I am still bedevilled by having poor social skills and a lack of understanding body language or tact to this day, yet in other matters like stamps - I function very well, probably better than most people and with HFA and Aspergers, these people are intelligent enough to learn these behaviours over time :shock:

I can not post this is a non philatelic part of the board as one person suggests, as I have no access to the water cooler and must post it here. :twisted:

Here is my story. :geek: :ugeek:

At 3 I was taken to a "Mental hospital/farm" and pronounced a vegetable after being mute and immobile, I was told I would be better off dead as I would be nothing but a burden on society (My Mum told me this). Sounds like 1800s, it was 1980!

At 6 I started mysteriously talking like an adult and was walking fully well at 4.

At 10 I had my IQ tested at 150 and it was decided I may be an idiot savant.

At 13 It was thought I may have Williams Syndrome. A school IQ test gave me a score of 96, but it was later found this test was one of the culturally loaded ones that gave minority takers lower scores due to questions aimed at rich white kids like "What is a regatta" and "How many models of convertible does Mercedes Benz make".

At 19 I read about Aspergers and was going to be diagnosed and could not as the scientist Tony Attwood wanted $3500 to diagnose me. We assumed I had it and lived with it.

At 27 they had discovered another form of Aspergers called HFA High Functioning Autism which is Aspergers but without the intellectual disability. Most people with Aspergers have Average to below average intelligence (IQ 75 - 105) whereas HFA is over 105.

At 33 in 2009, I was finally formally diagnosed with High Functioning autism by a District Health Board (Manukau and Counties DHB) by two psychologists who agreed I was more a near genius than autistic, my WAIS IQ was 128, Verbal was 123 and Performance was 132, apparently people with Autism have this spread. Most non Autism related people will have a gap of no more than 4 points. This score equated to 144 on the Binet scale and explains the 150 I got in 1987.

3 years ago, some scientists have decided that HFA is no longer autism as it only has delays in development in infancy and young childhood, but normal to "supernormal" development after. They are now calling it HFS - High Functioning Syndrome and have decided it is not a mental illness anymore - but that we should respect human neurological diversity rather than put labels on things all the time.

People such as Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Isaac Newton and Leonardo Da Vinci are now believed to have had High Functioning autism. Another point is that such people have no or very low libidos.

A good example of an HFA/HFS personality is Sheldon Cooper on the Big bang Theory. :ugeek:

The discovery of Autism and Aspergers syndrome was also delayed as Dr Hans Asperger was a Nazi doctor and was studying Aspergers syndrome patients in the 1940s and noticed their differences from standard Autism related illnesses (Which were also intellectually disabled, whereas Aspergers and HFA patients were more socially disabled).

Because Asperger also apparently was complicit in Nazi euthanasia programmes and some dodgy stuff, the real discovery of it had to wait until the early 1990s.

I am amazed that New Zealand has not done a stamp about Autism or any other Mental Health issue so far.

I also despise the word "Autistic" this degrades the person and makes it sound like the disease has them not the other way around - I use , Autism patient or so and so who has a form of Autism known as ....

I mean do we call Cancer sufferers - Canceric or Covid 19 - Coronic or Covidic?
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by ebormelo »

I agree with the use of "people with autism" in place of "autistic" or equivalent. However, the big question that many people don't know is that autism is not just a type of disorder. It would be much more accurate to say autism in the plural.

In fact, it involves a series of different neurological conditions that can have different severities, from the point that the less serious ones do not even discover that they are on the spectrum, until debilitating conditions, where the person cannot learn to speak, walk , etc.

Many cases have convulsive conditions (like my son) others do not. Many autistic people (or people with autism) also suffer from gastric disorders, allergies, glutem and lactose intolerances, allergic rhinitis, and other conditions. However, despite appearing with a certain frequency among this population, they are still not epidemiologically conclusive, since not all autistic people have them, and many neurotypical people also have them.

The only great similarity between the different cases is that the person has, to a greater degree, restricted interests in a theme or themes, as well as stereotyped movements and behavior. Today, 15% of cases can be explained by some genetic mutations, especially those that cause Fragile X Syndrome, Tuberous Sclerosis and Rett Syndrome.

Some cases are also related to Down syndrome. Even so, 85% of cases are still not adequately explained. Many, many cases are considered idiopathic, that is, without a known cause (or associated mutation). For the same reason, without knowing the cause (or causes) adequately, it is not much more difficult to develop efficient drugs for the treatment of the condition or, at least, of the symptoms.

The only drugs actually tested via double-blind clinical studies and approved to control part of the symptoms are the atypical antipsychotics risperidone and aripiprazole, which are not effective for all people (autistic or not) and still have several adverse effects. The other drugs currently used are only off-label.

Thus, the best treatments currently available include behavioral therapies, such as ABA or DENVER methods. But, again, they are not efficient in all cases. At the same time, the number of diagnosed cases, in their various degrees of severity (hence "spectrum") has been increasing every year, and epidemiological projections suggest that in a few decades (I don't remember two or three decades) we can reach 1 case in every 2 live births.

Today it is found in about 1 in 58 live births (in the USA). The specific reasons (if any) no one knows, but there are dozens of different theories. I have been studying a lot about autism, as I am a researcher at a public university and my area of ​​expertise is the development of new drugs. And, due to my son, I decided to go into the field of new drugs for autism.

And believe me, how little I study on the topic is still very little. But within many things that I have studied, one of the things I can say is that we should not include each and every case as a "simple" neurodiversity. While many, many people with autism are independent and productive members of society, many will be completely dependent on the care of parents and caregivers their entire lives.

For the former, we must include them as people with a neurological characteristic different from the majority, but we have to develop treatments and medications thinking mainly of the most serious, who in some cases may barely understand where they are throughout their life. To include each and every case as a case of "neurodiversity" is to deny those who need the chance to be adequately treated and, who knows, one day reach the degree that they are called "neurodiverse" people.

This is what I believe, and this is what I want for my son one day, which is a picture of medium severity.

One point many do not know: Hans Asperger cannot be considered, or at least cannot be considered alone, the person who described autism. This merit should go to LEO KANNER (Autistic disturbances of affective contact, Nervous Children, #2, pages 217-250). The entire history of its discovery (in fact, practically the entire history of autism since its description) is described in the book "In a Different Key: The Story of Autism", by John Donvan and Caren Zucker (https://www.amazon.com/Different-Key-Story-Autism/dp/0307985709). A reading more than recommended for those interested in the topic, researcher or not.


Another reading I recommend is the comic book "Habla María: Una novela gráfica sobre el autismo" (https://www.amazon.com/Habla-María-gráfica-autismo-Spanish/dp/6075277641). However, I think that there is still no English version, only in Spanish and Portuguese.
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by ebormelo »

A "philatelic" curiosity that I found, and that is related to autism: a graphic design project that proposes to use a book and stamps that explain the symptoms of autism for laypeople. Only one project (the stamps do not exist). But still, a project very pleasing to the eye.


https://www.behance.net/gallery/10337717/Autism-A-Philatelic-Pocket-Guide
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by ebormelo »

Two other pieces indirectly related to autism. Both from São Tomé and Príncipe portray environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who owns and speaks openly about her autism. More specifically, it fits the old definition of Asperger's Syndrome.

Greta-Thunberg-Sao-Tome-e-Principe-1.jpg
Greta-Thunberg-Sao-Tome-e-Principe-2.jpg
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by ebormelo »

Another indirectly related piece. In this case, until recently I didn't know, but Jim Hanson, creator of the Muppets, is autistic.

From: https://blazingminds.co.uk/10-famous-people-aspergers-autism/

"Jim Henson (September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990) was an American puppeteer, artist, cartoonist, inventor, screenwriter, actor, film director, and producer. Born in Greenville, Mississippi, and raised in Leland, Mississippi, and Hyattsville, Maryland, he began developing puppets while attending high school. While he was a freshman at the University of Maryland, College Park, he created Sam and Friends, a five-minute sketch-comedy puppet show that appeared on television. After graduating from the University of Maryland, with a degree in home economics, he produced coffee advertisements and developed experimental films. Feeling the need for more creative output, Henson founded Muppets, Inc., in 1958, (which would later become The Jim Henson Company)".

I found this site and liked it a lot, because here are defined the famous people who are evidently autistic, and those who are speculated to have been on the spectrum (notably, historical figures): https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/awareness/famous/asp.php


Jim-Henshin-EUA-1.jpg
Jim-Henshin-EUA-FDC.jpg
Returning to philately. Themes of interest: Autism; COVID-19; Mollecular Modeling; Pharmacy; Presidents of Brazil.
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by Catweazle »

As a school teacher, I would also agree that mental health issues are increasing across the board.

Most of my students have some note about something next to their name. I also believe that there are many more factors at play here than just better research or our contemporary understanding.

Actually there are a lot of kids who are misunderstood. But yeah – certainly an increase in numbers (in terms of teenagers with ASD and every other sort of diagnosis out there).

Looks like Lebanon released a stamp just last month (2022). Only 30,000 were printed though – not sure if that is the typical quantity for a country like Lebanon, or just a smaller than average print run.

It was designed by the National Autism Community near Tripoli.
2022 Lebanon 10,000 ل.ل Autism Love Stamp Issue
2022 Lebanon 10,000 ل.ل Autism Love Stamp Issue
Blocks and FDCs can be found on eBay e.t.c. LibanPost only seems to stock the singles (?)
Blocks and FDCs can be found on eBay e.t.c. LibanPost only seems to stock the singles (?)
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by Global Administrator »

arnabjoy wrote: 12 Sep 2020 14:39 Apart from the specific 2003 issue on Autism that ebormelo has already highlighted in the OP, there was another issue on mental health in 1974 by India Post, titled Help The Retardates.

The stamp is as below. Image taken from India Post website.

Image

My hunch is this wording would change if issued today. :idea:
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Re: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in philately

Post by Princestamps »

muruk wrote: 12 Sep 2020 09:57 Autism is not actually a disorder, it is genetic diversity.
Exactly, I don't even like the word, we use the term "Neuro diverse" now. Some scientists even say that High Functioning Autism should be renamed High Functioning Syndrome.

Did you know Sir Isaac Newton and Leonardo Da Vinci likely had HFA or Aspergers Syndrome.

Aspergers Syndrome is similar but considered slightly lower functioning.

Either way, both groups add to the diversity and tapestry of humanity.

We call people without Autism "Neuro Typical" or "Normies". :lol:
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