(WWTI) — People around the world are supporting those with autism in honor of World Autism Day on April 2. The day has been celebrated annually for 15 years and kicks off the celebration of World Autism Month which is recognized each April. In honor of the holiday, Autism Speaks shared information about the diagnosis and ways to get involved.
Throughout the month, the organization shares stories of those with autism as a way to increase understanding and acceptance of those with autism. Autism Speak’s website explained that autism refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.
They also highlighted how the diagnosis affects children across the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 44 children in the United States today.
They also reminded individuals that because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The spectrum also means that some people with autism may require significant support in their daily lives, while others may need less support and, in some cases, live entirely independently.
The organization is encouraging individuals to take their pledge which provides them with information, resources, and tools to engage and advocate in their community and learn about the organization’s mission. They also encouraged individuals to donate to an organization that supports those with autism.
Also in honor of World Autism Awareness Day, individuals are encouraged to participate in the Light It Up Blue in recognition of people with autism and those who love and support them. The initiative was started in 2010 and since then had hundreds of thousands of landmarks, buildings, homes, and communities around the world join in the effort.
More information can be found on the organization’s website.