Dubai: 13-year-old boy with autism sets new Guinness World Record

April is celebrated as 'Autism Acceptance Month' across the globe


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Fri 28 Apr 2023, 4:04 PM

Last updated: Sat 29 Apr 2023, 12:32 AM

Amit Ramkumar, a 13-year-old boy with autism, has set a new world record of the largest magnet number. He studies in grade eight at Primus Private School in Dubai, where he attempted the record.

Taking after his father, Ramkumar Sarangapani, who holds 18 records, Amit created a 2D structure of the number 44 using 44,000 magnets.

“The number 44 has a huge significance. As per the latest statistics from the US, one in every 44 children born is diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), which was 1 in 150 in the year 2000,” Ramkumar Sarangapani said, emphasising that his son undertook this endeavour to raise awareness.

“This is a staggering increase of 340 per cent and by creating this world record, my son is trying to bring people’s attention to this fact and create awareness. As far as the Middle East is concerned, UAE stands second, after Qatar, with the rate of children born with the disorder,” Ramkumar said.

April is celebrated as 'Autism Acceptance Month' across the globe. Amit's parents said that they wanted to prove that an "autistic person can do wonders if society provides the right opportunity".

Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of three, Amit was a single child. He then underwent ABA therapy for eight years, and continuous support has made him achieve wonders.

Amit’s mother Mahalakshmi Sankaran said that he possesses a rare savant ability of extraordinary memory.

“In a split-second he can say what outfit his dad was wearing on a particular day when he was in grade 1. He knows all the birthdays of the people he comes across. His memory database already has over 500 birthdays and still expanding. Moreover, his memory skills are extended to many more activities," said Sankaran.

Talking about savant skills, Ramkumar says, "Approximately one in 10 people with ASD possesses Savant skills. It is estimated that one in a million of the total population are savants, and almost half of them are autistic."

An autistic savant is someone with autism who also has a single extraordinary area of knowledge or ability.

"The UAE stands as an example for other countries when it comes to supporting people with autism. The government has set up autism centres in each Emirate and the Ministry of Community Development provides POD cards for autistic people which comes with tons of benefits. They have also introduced 'The National Policy for Autism' to support and empower persons on the Autism Spectrum Disorder and their parents of all ages. We are happy to be living in a country which truly believes in creating an inclusive society," said Ramkumar.

Sangeetha Ajesh, Head of the SEN department at Amit’s school said that the school plays a major role in giving opportunities to kids with autism, as they face difficulties in socialising with people and their school is the only place where they can overcome such issues.

“Amit has been studying at our school since KG and the school has been supporting him throughout to overcome the learning barriers and dream big. We are proud of his achievement,” said Ajesh.


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