Today, April 2nd, marks the 6th annual World Autism Awareness Day, and the official start of Autism Awareness Month. Here is a little back history on WAAD:
On December 18, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 62/139, tabled by the State of Qatar, which declares April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) in perpetuity. Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Consort of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, supported the campaign for a World Autism Awareness Day through the current 62nd UN General Assembly Session, garnering consensus support from all United Nations Member States.
This UN resolution declares WAAD as one of only four official health-specific United Nations Days and will bring the world’s attention to autism, a pervasive disorder that affects tens of millions. The World Autism Awareness Day resolution encourages all Member States to take measures to raise awareness about autism throughout society and to encourage early diagnosis and early intervention. It further expresses deep concern at the prevalence and high rate of autism in children in all regions of the world and the consequent developmental challenges.
With 1 in 88 children in the United States diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and many more diagnosed across the globe this is without a doubt something worthy of UN recognition. So, help Autism Speaks Light it Up Blue around the world for Autism Awareness, today and everyday. You can join their social media efforts to do so, and share your stories of spreading awareness at the following links:
Join the Light it Up Blue Campaign on their Official Website where you can: join the cause, donate, purchase merchandise, sign the petition urging the USA government to come up with a comprehensive plan to address Autism, and find materials to spread awareness.
Above all else, if you are an individual with an ASD, a friend, a family member, or someone working with this population: Always share your story in whatever way you can! It is in this way that true awareness is spread!
Happy World Autism Awareness Day!
Written By Georgianna Dolan-Reilly, LMSW
SJS Staff Writer
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