Friday, April 1, 2011

April 2nd - World Autism Awareness Day

Below is an email that I sent to family and friends in 2008.  The message is still appropriate so I thought I would share it again. Tomorrow is World Autism Awareness Day and today Autism Speaks is promoting Light It Up Blue to raise autism awareness.  Light it up BLUE today, remembers those impacted by autism tomorrow and support those with autism all year long! 
Eight years ago, I began to tell the story of kids with autism along with many other parents around the world. At that time, the autism incidence was reported to be 1 in 10,000 births. Few people felt that autism was on the rise. Families were faced with a dire and often hopeless diagnosis with few alternatives. Physician were puzzled not knowing what to do or how to help families. Today, we know that autism has risen significantly as it effects 1 in 155 children being born.
Last December, the United Nations came together and proclaimed April 2nd World Autism Awareness Day. I am astounded at what has taken place over the last 8 years. I couldn't have imagined the scope of this disease in terms of shear numbers, healthcare needs, family toll and the enormous costs to society. The magnitude is stunning.
Today, April 2nd, 2008 will stand in my mind as a day of relief as the World will take note of these children and their families. It is a call to action for all those who touch families with autism. With the incidence of autism at 1 in 155 births, every person you know knows someone who is suffering with autism. We are all in this together as we look for solutions.
It will be with the observations and actions of many that we will find answers to the causation and effective treatments for autism. Do what you can to help. Collaborate and partner with scientists, teachers, therapists, employers, insurers, government agencies, funding agencies, families, friends and neighbors. Listen well and take action or help others take action.
It is with great appreciation that I send this email. You have been among those that have listened and I trust will help be part of the solution.
Thank you and have a marvelous day!