Today is World Autism Awareness Day, in fact the whole month of April is Autism Awareness Month. World Autism Awareness Day is something that has been observed every year on April 2 since 2008. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution “62/139. World Autism Awareness Day”; adopted on 18 December 2007, it was proposed by Qatar, and supported by all member states. The resolution had four main components:
- the establishment of 2 April as WAAD
- participation of UN organizations, member states, NGOs and all private & public organizations in WAAD
- raise awareness of autism on all levels in society
- to ask the UN Secretary-General to deliver this message to member states and all other UN organs.
We have lived with Autism in our household for a number of years since our son was diagnosed with being on the Autism Spectrum early on in his life. Initially there were a lot of struggles, as we came to terms with what we had already suspected and as we found ways help him grow up and become the teenager he is today. Nowadays it’s not as bad for us, but there still are some moments, although we have to work out sometimes whether what he’s doing is a teenage thing or his autism. Sometimes the lines become blurred.
Awareness is a big thing with autism, because the spectrum is so wide. Even since the time our son was diagnosed, perceptions have changed for the better, as people have started to understand more about what autism is, and even what it isn’t.
We’ve had lots of fun, as well as a few moments of frustration, with our son on his journey so far. In spite of it all, we wouldn’t change a thing, although perhaps it would be nice if he worked harder at keeping his bedroom a bit tidier. I think that’s probably more of a teenage thing than anything else, though!
If you want to learn more about autism, there are plenty of good resources out there. A few helpful websites are:
These sites all have lots of helpful links as well, if you are interested in exploring further. There are also plenty of great books out there, many of which are listed on this Books About Autism list at GoodReads.