Better Together: Celebrating World Autism Day

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People are at the centre of what we do and CTN is proud to "Celebrate the Spectrum" on World Autism Day (April 2) and throughout the month by highlighting the voices of autistic people, and sharing stories and resources related to the kids and youth on the autism spectrum we serve.

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 one out of every 66 children and youth is diagnosed with ASD in Canada and this number continues to grow.

Over the last year, we have hosted monthly workshops about the journey through a new autism diagnosis (‘One Step at a Time’), supported families through an autism assessment at our Diagnostic Autism Clinical Services (DACS) and partnered with the York Simcoe Autism Network (YSAN) to provide intake for the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) Caregiver Mediated Early Years and Entry to School programs. CTN also launched the OAP Urgent Response Services initiative for time-limited service based on high risk factors.  

As part of our ongoing commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, CTN once again partnered with South Asian Autism Awareness Centre (SAAAC) for the creation of another “Towards Cultural Competence” toolkit that will be shared in April to provide support for clinicians working with Mandarin, Cantonese and Tagalog speaking clients and families.

Our recognition of World Autism Day aligns with CTN’s vision of creating a vibrant community where all kids, youth and families belong by providing an opportunity for a conversation and celebration of autism throughout the year. This year we “Celebrate the Spectrum” for World Autism Day by acknowledging the unique nature of each person with ASD and focusing on creating more inclusive spaces and communities and celebrating the neurodiversity of the kids and youth we serve at CTN.   

Celebrating the Spectrum is also about celebrating the uniqueness of autistic people without trying to change who they are – this is autism acceptance. One of the best ways to understand is by listening to the voices of autistic people on social media, reading books by autistic authors or following the hashtag #AskingAutistics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Follow our community partners at Autism Ontario to see all the ways they plan to "Celebrate the Spectrum" this month.

Here are some of our favourite links to information, autistic podcasts, articles, books and videos:

On April 2nd, CTN is encouraging employees, 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 the evolution of how the day is celebrated for many. The different colours of the rainbow better symbolize the idea of autism as a spectrum and this year, we want to celebrate the spectrum with our partner agencies across the network.

Look for more information related to ASD on CTN’s social media channels (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) throughout the month of April.  

Follow along on social media #WorldAutismDay, #WorldAutismAcceptanceDay and #CelebratetheSpectrum