World Autism Awareness Day is an awareness holiday which falls on April 2nd and attempts to raise awareness about autism in communities all over the world. This holiday is a United Nations health-specific day that brings autism organizations from the international community together to network and help with research and treatment projects for those individuals with this disorder. This day also usually features all kinds of educational events for everyone from parents to teachers to health care workers.
History of World Autism Awareness Day
World Autism Awareness Day can trace its roots back to November 1st, 2007. This is when the U.N first requested that a day be established as World Autism Day. This resolution was passed and on December 18th of 2007, World Autism Awareness Day was established as a holiday on April 2nd of every year. The first World Autism Awareness Day would then take place in the spring of 2008.
Today, Autism Speaks is one of the largest private organizations to raise awareness for autism, to push for further research and to advocate for individuals who may have autism. One of their main projects – and perhaps their largest – is the Light It Up Blue Initiative. This initiative is observed on World Autism Awareness Day and is designed to spread awareness about this disorder.
What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disability that affects the brain functions of an individual. Individuals with autism often find social interaction to be difficult or near impossible, have problems with both non-verbal and verbal communication, have a limited number of activities they engage in or a limited number of interests and may demonstrate repetitive or restrictive behavior. This disorder affects males and females of all races in all parts of the world.
Facts About Autism
As of 2016, Autism now affects about one child out of 68 and these figures keep climbing. It is estimated that one out of forty-two boys will end up being diagnosed with autism and boys are 5 times more likely to have the disorder than girls. It is one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the United States today and it is estimated that a family who has one of their family members diagnosed with autism will spend about $60,000 a year on treatment and care.
Observing World Autism Awareness Day
World Autism Awareness Day can be observed in a number of different ways. All over the world, major events are organized on this day to raise the profile of autism in the public’s eye. These include panel discussions with health organizations, autism-specific organizations, autism experts, and politicians. There are also many different education events that can help parents of autistic children get the help and resources they need. Other events on this day include artistic workshops for individuals with autism, news stories about autism, art exhibitions of artwork that was done by artists who are autistic and special clinics to help medical professionals acquaint themselves with this disorder and its treatment.