Today I wear blue. Today I join the world as it aims a spotlight on Autism. In my family and in my work, autism is a part of everyday existence. I love my child with autism and I love my students with autism. But today I stand in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of people (maybe more).
Today I celebrate the fact that we are talking: talking in our homes, communities, work places and schools. We are talking about autism all over the world. I celebrate the fact that since 2007 Autism is talked about openly at a global level and in places where it was never acknowledged.
I celebrate the fact that when I explain a seemingly odd behaviour that might be construed as ‘bratty ’is actually autism, the look I get in response is not ALWAYS a confused stare. More and more people have heard of autism. That’s a start.
When the United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day (A/RES/62/139) I rejoiced. As a global society we NEED to highlight the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder so they can lead full and meaningful lives.
In his message for the World Autism Awareness Day 2014, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it best: “World Autism Awareness Day is about more than generating understanding; it is a call to action. I urge all concerned to take part in fostering progress by supporting education programmes, employment opportunities and other measures that help realize our shared vision of a more inclusive world,”
Today we celebrate the individuals we know who live with autism. We celebrate those who are learning one step at a time how to raise them, how to educate them and most importantly how to include them in authentic, relevant and loving ways into our society.
We are growing and developing because Autism has touched our lives.