Blue is the color chosen to symbolize autism. That is why prominent buildings all over the world were lighted up blue on the eve of April 1 to mark the observance of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. However, other events are planned for the rest of April. Check out the schedule of events here.
April is also National Autism Awareness Month in the US. According to a statement from US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
During National Autism Awareness Month, we reflect on an urgent public health challenge and rededicate ourselves to addressing the complex needs of people with autism and their families. Over the last decade, we’ve learned that autism is far more prevalent than we had previously believed, affecting one out of every 110 American children. While we still have a lot to learn about what causes autism and which treatments can help people with autism thrive, we’re getting closer to finding answers thanks to a historic new investment in autism research. At the same time, we continue to improve lives by educating health care professionals about how to detect the disorder early, funding networks of providers and parents that spread information about the most promising autism treatments, and helping autistic children get the support they need in school. We took another step forward last month when President Obama signed a health reform bill that will make it illegal for insurance companies to deny health insurance to people because they have autism.
This month, we recognize the significant challenges that Americans with autism face and rededicate ourselves to these efforts to address them.
Other events which were already took place or are still scheduled for this month are (source: Autism Speaks, the world’s largest science and advocacy organization for autism):
President Barack Obama made a statement on April 2 in support of World Autism Awareness Day. He applauded the many contributions of individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. Read the full statement.
|World Autism Awareness Day Reception
On March 31, Autism Speaks hosted a reception to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day. Attendees from 12 countries were on hand to hear an announcement from the World Health Organization, view a message from United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and see a special tribute to Yoko Ono Lennon.
|NYSE Opening Bell
The third annual World Autism Awareness Day was celebrated a bit early on April 1 at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Euronext locations around the world. In New York, Autism Speaks supporters rang the opening bell at the NYSE. Autism Speaks was proud to partner with Autism-Europe and NYSE Euronext in the first-ever global bell ringing with member autism organizations opening or closing the trading day in Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon and Paris.
|Empire State Building Lights It Up Blue
Autism Speaks Co-founders Bob and Suzanne Wright joined Bravo’s Top Chef Host and Executive Chef Tom Colicchio at a “flip the switch” lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building as the world famous building participated the inaugural Light It Up Blue campaign.
|“Lindt Unsung Heroes of Autism” Awards Reception
Lindt & Sprüngli, the world’s leading producer of premium chocolate, and Autism Speaks kicked off Autism Awareness Month with an event at the New York Palace Hotel, honoring and recognizing three “Lindt Unsung Heroes of Autism.”
|World Autism Awareness Day Activities with Autism Speaks Canada
Canada joined the world in honouring the autism community on World Autism Awareness Day with buildings lit up blue, awareness nights with major sports teams, and activities in Parliament.
|Areva Martin – The Everday Advocate
Mom, lawyer and advocate Areva Martin discussed her new book The Everyday Advocate: Standing Up for Your Child with Autism at the United Nations and Borders in New York City.