CTN is encouraging staff, providers, clients and families to wear any colour of the rainbow. Why? Over the past several years the neurodiversity movement has focused on the unique nature of each individual on the autism spectrum and their variety of strengths and needs. This has led to evolution of how the day is celebrated for many. The different colours of the rainbow better symbolizes the idea of autism as a spectrum.
History of World Autism (Awareness and Acceptance) Day
In 2007, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day with the goal of bringing the world’s attention to autism, a pervasive neurological disorder that affects tens of millions globally.
World Autism Day is an annual opportunity for a dedicated conversation about autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which touches more than 70 million people globally. Approximately 1 in 66 is diagnosed with ASD in Canada and this number continues to grow.
This year’s theme is “Inclusive Quality Education for All” and while major progress has been made towards increasing access to education around the world for people with autism, the pandemic has caused disruptions and school closures that have reversed years of progress and highlighted the inequalities for those with disabilities, specifically, autism. The United Nations will be hosting a virtual event that will include a moderated panel discussion, along with brief presentations by self-advocates, educators and other experts on April 8th. If you’d like to learn more about autism and inclusive education around the world, you can register here.
Look for more information related to this theme on CTN’s social media channels (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) throughout the month of April.
Other celebrations and virtual events take place throughout the month of April in much of the world, as it is also considered Autism Awareness Month. Because World Autism Day, April 2nd, is on Saturday this year, many organizations and schools will be celebrating on Monday, April 4th.
How can you celebrate WAD? Here are some ideas:
Autism Ontario — Design Your Flag Contest
In the leadup to World Autism Day, Autism Ontario is looking for your talented art and creative works to inspire and “Celebrate the Spectrum” in the community! Enter the Design Your Flag contest and have the chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.
Winning art will be featured and distributed provincially across multiple Autism Ontario platforms including social media, newsletters and their website.Submit your design by April 15th at 5 p.m. and share your flag on social media using #CelebratetheSpectrum and #WorldAutismDay2022. Get the contest details here.
There are many other creative ways for families, providers, schools and organizations to get involved and support WAD during the pandemic:
City Of Barrie - Club Connect - Simcoe
Children of all abilities will connect with peers through a variety of interactive and fun recreational activities.
City of Barrie - Sensory Open Gym - Barrie
Sensory aware gymnasium drop-in space that gives individuals with disabilities the opportunity to play and try out gymnastics in a safe and fun envoirnment.
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