World Autism Awareness Day seeks to raise awareness of the autism spectrum disorders and improve the lives of those currently living with autism. Autism refers to a lifelong brain development disorder that affects social interactions, learning, routines and communication. It is estimated that approximately 1% of the global population is autistic.
World Autism Awareness Day was designated by the United Nations in 2007 in an effort to end stigmatization and discrimination against those with autism. World Autism Day is celebrated annually on April 2nd and fits in with the UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development, which promises to leave no one behind.
World Autism Awareness Day Facts & Quotes
- The theme for World Autism Awareness Day 2018 is Empowering Women and Girls with Autism.
- Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. Boys are 5 times more likely to have autism than girls.
- Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average.
- 35 % of young adults (aged 19-23) with autism have not had a job or received postgraduate education after leaving high school.
- Who do you think made the first stone spears? The Asperger guy. If you were to get rid of all the autism genetics, there would be no more Silicon. – Temple Grandin, world-renowned Autism spokesperson and university professor.
World Autism Awareness Day Top Events and Things to Do
- Wear blue in order to support World Autism Day. The color blue is internationally recognized as a symbol of support for World Autism Day and it is accompanied by the catchphrase wear blue, April 2.
- Watch a movie about autism such as Fly Away, Sounding the Alarm and The Story of Luke.
- Light up your home or your business in blue like many famous buildings or monuments worldwide. There are many ways you can do this. It can be as simple as putting blue plastic over floodlights to project the color blue on your home. You can also use a blue Phillips light bulb, which can be bought at Home Depot.
- Get active on social media by taking a picture of yourself wearing blue and posting it using the hashtags #LIUB (Light it up Blue), #WorldAutismAwarenessDay, #WAD and #autism. You can also turn your profile photo blue on social media by putting a blue frame over it.
- Take part in an Autism Speaks Walk that raises money for the cause. You can gather a team and walk in support of someone you know with autism or simply donate, walk and enjoy the day with thousands of others.
HERE ARE A FEW WAYS WHERE YOU CAN HELP PROMOTE AUTISM AWARENESS:
Join autism support groups, or create one yourself. Facebook pages like Autism Awareness are great tools for sharing what you know, learning what you don’t know, and accepting what you don’t understand. If you don’t know someone with an Autistic child or who has Autism themselves, check out some groups and learn what it is like. Awareness and understanding will help bring acceptance. You can also walk or run for Autism. This is a great way to find other Autism Parents, relatives, and friends connected with Autism.
Talk About It
It is absolutely impossible to build awareness and acceptance if we keep our struggles to ourselves. In any and every opportunity explain to someone what it’s like to struggle with someone who has Autism. The more we talk about it, the more people will understand and accept it as a part of this life. More people will know how to act and how to respond. Sometimes this is hard, especially on social media. From time to time, I talk about the struggles of the twins on my Facebook page. However, because I don’t want to “put their business” out there, I don’t share everything. And because each child on the spectrum is different, it can be hard for even other Autism Parents to get exactly what you are going through with your child(ren).
Whether it is a facility, community outreach, or get together, connect with others in the community. Many Autism Society affiliates hold special events and programs for Autism Awareness month. Find out how to get involved. If you can’t find an event in your local community, create one! You can use the event section on Facebook to create your event and find other people in your community to invite. You would be surprised how many hundreds of people will thank you for showing awareness in the community and letting others know they aren’t alone.
Funding can only go so far and many times some of the less severe cases go without any help or support because the family can’t afford it. Help change the lives of those who are impacted by Autism by donating to the Autism Society or other local non-profit organization. It’s the gift that counts not the money you spent; every penny counts.
Educating yourself to understand what Autism is all about, is one of the best ways you can help a person and their loved ones. Many times people think children are acting out, being bad, need a spanking, etc, when they don’t really know or understand that child is having a sensory overload moment. Just by reading this post, it shows you are ready to learn more about what Autism is, and how you can help others. If you’re ready to learn more about Autism, head over HERE to the Autism section of our blog to read more about Autism.
Whether your child has Autism or you know someone who has Autism, make April a month to combine forces and spread the awareness to build acceptance, opportunities, and programs to help all those impacted by Autism!
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