Today, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day which was first adopted by the United Nations in 2007. The day shines a light on autism spectrum disorders and the importance of early diagnosis and intervention.
Autism is a developmental disorder of the brain functions, which makes it difficult to understand and process information. It also greatly affects an individual’s ability to partake in ordinary social interactions. Most symptoms of autism begin to emerge between the ages of two and three.
Although there is no cure for autism, Autism Europe indicates the best treatment is to educate the community about the disorder to create an environment particularly suited for the individual’s needs. Autism has many different characteristics which make each person with autism and the treatment he or she receives unique.
In order to bring attention to World Autism Awareness Day, autism organizations worldwide such as Autism Europe and Autism Speaks are participating in Light It Up Blue. Landmarks on every continent (except Antarctica) are lit up blue to raise awareness for the disorder. Some of the buildings being lit up are the Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House, the Hungarian Parliament Building, and the Paris Stock Exchange. The Light It Up Blue campaign is also taking place on a smaller scale as individual homes, schools, and offices are being illuminated with blue lights today.
The UN will also be taking part in World Autism Awareness Day. Check out their video. The UN Postal Administration will be launching a series of eight stamps illustrated by people with autism to raise awareness for the cause.
So on World Autism Awareness Day, be on the lookout for blue lights and help illuminate your community with knowledge about autism.