Welcome to April! It’s the first full month of spring, so warmer weather finally begins its welcome return to upstate New York. The beautiful weather is a fitting backdrop for another reason why April is an important month for The Center for Disability Services and many of the individuals and families we support — April is World Autism Month!
Autism awareness has grown over the past decade, but there is much more that can be done to shine a light on autism in our communities and encourage continued support. In 2008, the United Nations declared April 2 of each year World Autism Awareness Day, and individuals, families and support providers focus the entire month increasing understanding and acceptance.
Sometimes, small steps can make big impressions, even on large concerns. That’s part of the philosophy behind World Autism Month. Among children, Autism prevalence has grown over the past 15 years, from 1 in 166 in 2004 to 1 in 59 in 2018. With increasing numbers, there is a critical need for increased research and support services. Bringing awareness to Autism, and these vital needs is part of what April is all about.
As community members, we can highlight Autism concerns in several ways, including three main activities:
People all over the globe will wear the color blue on April 2nd as a sign of solidarity and awareness.
Spread awareness by sharing pictures of your blue World Autism Day clothing, and get people thinking and talking about how to help those on the Autism spectrum and their families.
Keep an eye out for landmarks all over the world, such as the Empire State Building, that will recognize the day with blue lighting. Closer to home, you can add a blue lightbulb to an outside light to shine a light on autism in our community.
And remember, you have the entire month of April to spread awareness and bring attention to Autism. Don’t forget to share your blue, and remember to add #LightItUpBlue to your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts!