In 1980, autism was a relatively rare disorder, diagnosed in one of every 10,000 U.S. children. Today, according to the Centers for Disease Control, one in 150 may be afflicted.
April is Autism Awareness Month and the United Nations General Assembly in New York is preparing to mark the very first World Autism Awareness Day on Wednesday, April 2, 2008. The event will be observed around the world by individuals and organizations to raise awareness about Autism and to raise funds needed funds. Other events and activities will be held throughout the month of April, including a presentation by Temple Grandin, Ph.D., one of the most accomplished and well-known adults with autism.
Here are some ways you can personally raise autism awareness on April 2 and throughout the month:
- Educate yourself and others about autism and encourage respect for all individuals, regardless of the challenges they face.
- Spend some special time with an autistic loved one.
- Acknowledge the efforts of an autistic child's caregiver(s) through a visit, a card, a lunchdate, or a gift.
- Show your support for one or more of the autism organizations by sending a word of appreciation. Include a donation if you can.
- Wear an autism advocacy ribbon or shirt.
- Listen to Open Every Door, a Nimal Mendis song that is the cry of every parent and caretaker who has a child with autism.
- Watch Autism: The Musical.