Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been emerging as a major public health problem that has spread beyond the geographic, economic and social boundaries. Bangladesh is a lower middle-income country which has a population of more than 160 million.
Against the backdrop of significant decline in child mortality (71% since 1990), the proportion of childhood disabilities including ASD appears to increase dramatically from 8% in 1988 to 20% in 2005 (The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF, 2008). Like many developing countries, healthcare system in Bangladesh is mostly focused on fighting against communicable diseases.
As such, the current system is not yet ready for dealing with the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases(NCDs) including ASD. Therefore, it is necessary to devise innovative and cost-effective public health strategies within cultural and economic context by capitalizing existing resources.