SES-TO promotes the April Blue campaign to raise awareness about autism


The action seeks to give visibility and promote the integration of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The State Department of Health of Tocantins (SES-TO) starts this April 1st, the Abril Azul Campaign, which raises awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The month was chosen due to the celebration of World Autism Awareness Day, on the 2nd day of April, established in 2007 by the United Nations (UN).

Atypical mother Deborah Dias lives in Palmas, has two children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and her husband is also diagnosed. She reported on why the campaign is important. “Knowing what autism is, its characteristics and how support works allows integration into society to occur more naturally. Difference is what makes human beings unique, and it is up to us to include differences so that we can make a complete society happen. Our children and families are part of the whole and need to be seen that way. Mainly assuming that if someone doesn’t know about a subject, it’s up to that person to seek knowledge and not judge.”

“Autism has characteristics and comorbidities that are little known by the general population, which is why people try to justify these particularities of the diagnosis as ‘tantrums’, they accuse them of being ‘spoiled children’, and ‘systematic adults’. Therefore, the label makes the real need for support invisible, increasing suffering. We also have a lot of difficulties when it comes to school, because everyone needs different things, depending on the level of support the child needs. Therefore, whoever plans the class needs to plan for all students, not just typical students. Accepting the diagnosis of a person with autism is not just allowing them to register, it is understanding that those characteristics are part of who they are, and that they need adaptation so that they can live and coexist in society”, said Deborah.

What is autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a health condition that affects neurological development, changing the way a person perceives the world and socializes. It affects two areas of human development, communication and social interaction. It can be diagnosed since childhood, but is also discovered in adulthood. Some of the common signs in children with autism are delayed speech, not responding when called, and few facial expressions. In adults, a striking characteristic is the difficulty in interacting socially. While some can live independently, others will need support throughout their lives. This is because autism is classified by levels ranging from mild, moderate and severe. Therefore, in treatment, support is according to need.

How to help?

Emotional support is essential. Some acts, such as establishing schedules and reducing noise, promote safety. For people with autism, communication contributes to quality of life. This and other social skills can be developed with the help of professionals.

Care network in the SUS

In Tocantins, people with ASD are welcomed in Specialized Rehabilitation Centers (CERs) located in Palmas and Colinas. At the locations, they are cared for by a multidisciplinary team, made up of a neuropediatrician, psychiatrist, nutritionist, physical educator, speech therapist, occupational therapist, psychologist and neuropsychopedagogue.

To ensure faster and more punctual service throughout the State, SES-TO has already approved in the Bipartite Intermanagers Commission (CIB), the Action Plan for the Care Network for People with Disabilities, which aims to raise funds with the Ministry of Health (MS), to build six more Specialized Rehabilitation Centers. Of these, two have already had resources approved and will be built in the cities of Sítio Novo and Dianópolis.

The Care Line for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) was also approved by CIB, which provides for the flow of care, starting from the birth of the child through the vaccination card, in which the necessary monitoring is carried out.

“Although there is no cure, there is specialized treatment and monitoring for people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. With the help of specialized professionals, it is possible to improve the quality of life and acquire more independence and sociability. In our Unified Health System (SUS) in Tocantins, care is offered free of charge at the Specialized Rehabilitation Centers (CER’s) in Palmas and Colinas. The treatment is personalized with a multidisciplinary team, including a psychologist, neuropediatrician, speech therapist and other professionals, qualified to assist each patient, as needed,” said the superintendent of the Care Network for People with Disabilities/SES-TO, Rosa Helena Ambrósio de Carvalho.


Furthermore, in September 2023, the Government of Tocantins launched the Identification Card for Persons with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (CIPTEA), a free document established by Federal Law Romeo Mion No. 13,977, of January 8, 2020, and of in accordance with State Decree No. 6,619, of April 24, 2023. The objective is to cover the citizen in all needs, priority in care and access to public and private services, especially in the areas of health, education and social assistance. The request can be made at the following link:

Special programming

Some parents may feel alone, so it’s important to know that there are more families who have the same, or different, insecurities about Autism Spectrum Disorder. To facilitate the sharing of experiences between parents and family members of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the State Department of Health of Tocantins (SES-TO) and the State Department of Administration (SECAD-TO) will carry out the I Meeting of Parents of Autistic People in the State of Tocantins, on World Autism Awareness Day, April 2nd. The celebration will be free, held in the auditorium of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), in Palmas, and will feature lectures, services and cultural presentations.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: SESTO promotes April Blue campaign raise awareness autism



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