AutismCare Nepal Society


INSAR Recognition Awards  

The International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) is dedicated to advancing the understanding, research, and advocacy surrounding autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A key highlight of INSAR’s annual conference is the INSAR Recognition Awards, which honor individuals and organizations making significant contributions to the field. This year, the INSAR Research and Debate Award shines a spotlight on Dr. Sunita Maleku Amatya for her groundbreaking work in autism research and advocacy in Nepal. 

The Significance of INSAR Recognition Awards 

The INSAR Recognition Awards were established to celebrate outstanding achievements in autism research, clinical practice, and advocacy. These awards recognize individuals who have made impactful contributions that advance the field and improve the lives of those affected by autism. Each year, these awards inspire the global autism community to strive for excellence and foster a deeper understanding of ASD. 

Dr. Sunita Maleku Amatya: A Champion for Autism Awareness 

Dr. Sunita Maleku Amatya, President of the Autism Care Nepal Society, has been honored with the INSAR Research and Debate Award at the INSAR conference in Melbourne, Australia, held from May 15 to 18, 2024. This award recognizes her exceptional contributions to autism research and her tireless advocacy for individuals with autism in Nepal. 

A Journey of Dedication and Advocacy 

Dr. Amatya’s journey in autism research and advocacy is deeply personal and driven by her commitment to improving the lives of those affected by autism. Her work has been instrumental in breaking down societal barriers and fostering a more inclusive society in Nepal, where resources and understanding of autism are limited. 

Establishing Autism Care Nepal Society 

One of Dr. Amatya’s significant contributions is the establishment of the Autism Care Nepal Society. Under her leadership, the organization has become a beacon of hope for many families. The society provides a range of services, including early diagnosis, intervention programs, educational support, and vocational training. These initiatives have empowered countless individuals with autism to lead fulfilling lives and have given their families the tools they need to support their loved ones. 

Pioneering Research in Autism 

Dr. Amatya’s research has significantly advanced the understanding of autism in Nepal. Her studies focus on the prevalence of autism, the challenges faced by individuals with ASD and their families, and the development of culturally appropriate intervention strategies. Her work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, contributing to the global body of knowledge on autism. 

One of the notable aspects of Dr. Amatya’s research is her emphasis on culturally sensitive approaches to autism diagnosis and intervention. In a country where traditional beliefs and stigma often hinder the acceptance of mental health conditions, her work has paved the way for more effective and empathetic practices. By integrating local cultural contexts into her research, Dr. Amatya has ensured that her findings and recommendations are relevant and impactful for the communities she serves. 

Advocacy and Awareness: Changing Perceptions 

Beyond her research, Dr. Amatya has been a vocal advocate for autism awareness. She has organized numerous campaigns, workshops, and seminars to educate the public, healthcare professionals, and policymakers about autism. Her efforts have been crucial in changing perceptions and reducing the stigma associated with autism in Nepal. 

One of the most impactful initiatives led by Dr. Amatya is the annual World Autism Awareness Day celebrations in Nepal. These events bring together individuals with autism, their families, and supporters to celebrate their achievements and raise awareness about the challenges they face. The visibility and media coverage of these events have played a significant role in increasing public understanding and acceptance of autism. 

Global Recognition for Local Impact 

The INSAR Research and Debate Award is a fitting recognition of Dr. Amatya’s unwavering dedication and impactful contributions. Her work has not only transformed the lives of individuals with autism in Nepal but has also resonated globally, inspiring researchers and advocates around the world. 

As she received the award at the INSAR conference, Dr. Amatya’s achievement was celebrated by her peers and the broader autism community. This honor serves as a reminder of the profound impact that dedicated individuals can have on advancing knowledge and improving the lives of those with autism. 

The Legacy of INSAR Recognition Awards 

Since its inception, the INSAR Recognition Awards have celebrated the achievements of exceptional individuals dedicated to understanding and improving the lives of those with autism. Previous recipients include luminaries such as Portia Iverson, Eric London, Karen London, and

Joe Shestack in 2011, Temple Grandin in 2012, Dame Stephanie Shirley in 2013, Peter Bell in

2014, Mary Baruah in 2015, Thomas Insel in 2016, Alison Singer in 2017, Deborah Hilibrand in 2019, John A. Robinson in 2021, James H. Simons and Marilyn Hawrys Simons in 2022, Harald Nirelland in 2023, Dr. Sunita Maleku Amatya in 2024 and Peter Mundy got Lifetime Achievement Award in 2024. 

Each awardee’s work contributes to a deeper understanding of autism and promotes inclusive practices that enhance the quality of life for individuals with ASD. The awards highlight various aspects of contribution, including research, clinical practice, advocacy, and public awareness. 

Looking Ahead: Continuing the Journey 

Dr. Amatya’s recognition by INSAR is a milestone, but it is also a call to continue the journey. There is still much work to be done in the field of autism research and advocacy, particularly in regions where resources are scarce, and stigma remains prevalent. Dr. Amatya’s success highlights the importance of perseverance, compassion, and collaboration in making a difference. 

As we celebrate Dr. Sunita Maleku Amatya’s remarkable achievements, we are reminded of the power of dedicated individuals to create lasting change. Her work exemplifies the spirit of the INSAR Recognition Awards and serves as an inspiration to all who strive to improve the lives of individuals with autism. Through continued research, advocacy, and awareness, we can build a more inclusive and supportive world for everyone. 


The INSAR Recognition Awards not only honor individual excellence but also inspire the global community to push the boundaries of autism research and advocacy. Dr. Sunita Maleku Amatya’s receipt of the INSAR Research and Debate Award is a testament to her profound impact on the autism community in Nepal and beyond. Her work serves as a beacon of hope and a call to action for continued progress in understanding and supporting individuals with autism worldwide. 

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