How Will You Celebrate World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day?

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CTN supports World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day (WAAD) by spreading awareness, acceptance and celebrating all the children and youth on the autism spectrum who we work with every day!

This year, CTN is encouraging staff, providers 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 (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 Awareness 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.

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 Good Friday this year, many organizations and schools will be celebrating on Monday, April 5th or Tuesday, April 6th.

How can you celebrate WAAD?

Autism Ontario — Raise the Flag Campaign

Autism Ontario’s Raise the Flag campaign, through the simple act of raising a flag, unites families, schools, communities, government and professionals in recognizing World Autism Awareness Day.

Most years more than 400 Ontario schools and 340 municipalities raised the flag. This year they are hosting a flag colouring contest and hosting a live launch of their new video “What Autism Means to Us”, with submitted clips from the autism community at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6th.

Click here to download the flag and be sure to share your flag on social media using #RaiseTheFlagForAutism

Kerry’s Place Autism Services
Kerry’s Place encourages everyone to recognize the day creatively – in your living room, backyard, on a Zoom call – any way you’d like! You can even enter to win their colouring contest, here.

There are many creative ways for families, providers, schools and organizations to get involved and support WAAD during the pandemic:

  • Buy a flag and display it in your own home or business
  • Decorate your house with rainbows
  • Share awareness materials on your social media channels
  • Share your own story of acceptance or inclusion
  • Change your social media profile to show your support
  • Wear rainbow colours to work or school (some people with autism will be wearing RED – learn more here
  • Learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) on our online resource site
Follow along on social media #WorldAutismDay, #WAAD or #RaisetheFlagForAutism.