What Is Autism Awareness Day?

April 2 is Worldwide Autism Awareness Day. It is a day of recognition for this debilitating disorder that inflicts people all across the globe. There are events taking place in all the major cities of each nation you help shed some light on autism and how it affects people. But what is Autism Awareness Day? How do you get involved? Here is some information for anyone interested in this important day.

What Is Autism

Anyone who has a child or knows someone with a child afflicted with this disorder knows how heartbreakingly frustrating it can be. Autism is a mental disorder that is normally diagnosed within a child’s first two years. Unlike other forms of mental retardation, children with autism appear perfectly normal. You wouldn’t know that they have this disorder just by looking at them. However, those looks are deceiving. Children with autism have trouble functioning and relating to the real world. In some severe cases, they are completely unresponsive to outside influences and are totally unaware of what goes on around them. Since the early 1990’s, the rate of autism in births has increased. Some nations have as high as 60 in 10,000 births. The Center for Disease Control reported back in 2007 that on average 1 in every 150 children had been diagnosed with autism.

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There are many theories to the cause of autism. Some researchers claim that environmental influences such as toxins or child vaccines can lead to autism. Other researchers point to genetic defects as the leading factor. Mercury poisoning has long been held to be such a culprit. Treatment for autism varies depending on the severity of the child’s condition. There is ongoing biomedical research into drugs to help cope with the epidemic. There is also therapy to help increase a child’s awareness and help them function at a more normal level. Some children can function in society with limited assistance. More extreme cases, however, require constant monitoring and caretaking.

What Is The Purpose Of Autism Awareness Day

The purpose of Autism Awareness Day is to increase awareness of autism on a global level. This special day is designed to educate people in the dangers of autism, how it occurs, and how it can be treated. The hope is to make people aware of the importance in early diagnosis in children that may be suspected of having it. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the chances of a child improving through proper treatment. This day also is to show people the challenges that children and adults afflicted with autism have to face each day.

Another point of Autism Awareness Day is to celebrate people with special talents that can develop because of their autism. The movie Rain Man that depicted Dustin Hoffman as a grown man with autism helped bring about awareness of unique autistic talents. Some autistic people have special skills such as art, music, or math. They are able to perform these skills at extraordinary levels, often without any training or practice. Examples are the child who, since age three, can sit down at the piano and play Mozart or the math genius who can solve the most difficult mathematical equations that challenges even so-called experts. These talents are just another reason why autism is a difficult disorder to understand.

How Did Autism Awareness Day Get Started

Autism Awareness Day got its start back in 2007 at the 62nd United Nations General Assembly. The State of Qatar tabled Resolution62/139 that declared April 2 to be a day for autism awareness, thus known as World Autism Awareness Day. Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Consort of the Emir of the State of Qatar, supported the campaign by garnering consensus support from all the Member States of the United Nations.

As one of only three official disease-awareness days sponsored by the United Nations, this resolution was designed to bring attention and awareness of the epidemic of autism to a global level. This is a disease that knows no boundaries such a national borders and is not culture specific. It can be found in every nation in the world. The World Autism Awareness Day encourages all its Member States to take measures to diagnose, treat, and prevent autism within their own borders.

Events For Autism Awareness Day

There are scheduled events going on all over the world to celebrate Autism Awareness Day. In the United States, most of the major cities are holding some type of awareness conference. There are education programs and auctions going on all over the country. Some citiesare having a “Race For Autism” where participants walk or run in support. Other cities have readings from popular books or art shows depicting works done by people afflicted with the disease. If you want to find out what is going on in your area, you can check online or contact your city officials to find out more. There is some information on the official website for World Autism Awareness Day.