World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), on April 2nd each year shines a bright light on a growing global health crisis.
According to the National Autism Association, Autism affects 1 in 59 children. The bio-neurological developmental disability usually presents itself by the age of three, and it’s more prevalent in boys than girls.
As children with autism grow older, they face all sorts of obstacles. Because many don’t speak or use social cues as you or I do, they become targets for bullies or are excluded altogether. Children with autism are also vulnerable to drowning because they wander from their homes and schools. Due to their inability to communicate, they cannot tell someone their name or where they live, either. Additionally, as adults, they are more likely to unemployed or underemployed.
However, resources are available for families and schools to help keep children safe and to support them lead happy and healthy lives. Visit the National Autism Association website for resources, guides and tips for families and schools.
The day also focuses on the growing need for programs designed to support those with autism now and in the future.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldAutismAwarenessDay or #WAAD
Throughout the day, organizations hold events supporting autism awareness. Attend an event and show your support for someone you know. Share your story and make your voice heard.
While the day also celebrates the stories and lives of those with autism, it’s also important to remember that autism is a life long condition with varying degrees of severity. It’s important to continue to support research for treatment and therapies that will improve the lives of those with autism. Speak out about autism to help eliminate the stigma associated with it. And use #WorldAutismDay to share on social media.
WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY HISTORY
The United Nations General Assembly declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness day in 2008 to draw attention to the growing need for innovative programs designed to support those with autism.