This April World Autism Awareness Day will be in its nineth year!
It’s difficult to pinpoint an autism definition. The condition varies in how severely it affects peoples lives. To them the world is ‘a mass of people, places and events which they struggle to make sense of, and which can cause them considerable anxiety.’
While to most people interacting with other people comes naturally, it can be confusing and sometimes frustrating for those who are autistic. For example, jokes and tone of voice can be misinterpreted.
This can sometimes make people seem insensitive, especially as they are unable to gage how a person is feeling, and the usual give-and-take manner of a conversation misunderstood.
And, while there is currently no cure, it is important that autism is diagnosed so that the proper services and support are available to help suffers and their families.
Autism doesn’t have to be limiting. Just look at singer Ladyhawke and Daryl Hannah – they are both autistic and have made a great success of their lives.
So what can do this April? A really simple way of getting involved is to become a fan of the World Autism Awareness Day facebook page.
Especially for 2012 the UN (United Nations) created a postage stamp that featured artwork by a person on the autism spectrum. Meanwhile Yoko Ono auctioned off 67 acrylic puzzle pieces especially for the day. As it happens Yoko met John Lennon in 1967 – and there are approximately 67 million people suffering from autism around the world.
I particularly liked the event that took place aboard the International Space Station in 2013 when astronaut Tom Marshburn gave a special message in honour of World Autism Awareness Day!
Another way to get involved is to Light up Blue for autism! In 2013 more than 7000 iconic buildings in over 90 countries were lit up in blue to show how connected people are worldwide in raising awareness to autism. From the Empire State Building in New York to the Niagara Falls in Canada and Burj Al Arab in Dubai. What a spectacular sight!
If you decide to get involved, remember to post your events on the World Autism Awareness Day Facebook page.