Raising Awareness: World Autism Day

WHAT IT IS

  • Autism is a neurological and developmental disorder that affects a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others.
  • The term “spectrum” refers to the broad array of symptoms and severity.
  • Jan. 2008: United Nations unanimously established April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day.
  • Its purpose is to raise awareness and help improve the quality of life of people with Autism.

WHY IT MATTERS

About 1 out of 68 children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with some form of Autism. Its prevalence transcends race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, although it is 4.5 times more likely to affect boys than girls. Families with a child with Autism can spend on average about $4,110 to $6,200 more a year than families without a child with Autism.

  • THE CURE SEEKERS – “We will beat this disease”

    • Treatment: Autism Speaks, one of the largest Autism advocacy groups in the world, believe Autism can be treated and that a child can “grow out” of Autism.
  • THE ACCEPTANCE ADVOCATES– “We are equal citizens”

    • Defining characteristic: They believe Autism is as part of their identities as their race, gender or ethnicity. They refer to it as “neurodiversity.”
    • Acceptance: Instead of awareness, they want acceptance of their condition and advocate for equal rights in society.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT