World Autism Awareness Day – April 2, 2020

Thu Apr 2

April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, when the world takes part in the puzzle pattern of blue, red, yellow and purple pieces that reflect the complexities and uniqueness of the autism spectrum. There is no better way to celebrate this day than by becoming aware of the characteristics of people with this condition and how all of us can do better to increase our own understanding and promote kindness.

History of World Autism Awareness Day

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder characterized by behavioral and communicational affections that impact a person’s ability to navigate social interactions and also causes repetitive and restricted behavior.

The first historical appearance of the word “Autism” was made in 1911 by the psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, who used the term to describe a specific cluster of symptoms that were considered simple symptoms of schizophrenia as an extreme social withdrawal.

In that order, it was in 1943, when pediatric psychiatrist Dr. Leo Kanner characterized Autism as a social and emotional disorder in his article “Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact”, and in 1944 Hans Asperger published his “Autism Psychopathology Article” where he described autism as a disorder of normal intelligence children who have difficulties with social and communication skills. These articles were an important contribution to the studies that helped to classified Autism as a disorder separate from schizophrenia in 1980.

With the continuous investigation and research on autism, World Autism Awareness Day was set to April 2 of each year by the “United Nations General Assembly” on “Resolution 62/139” and adopted on December 18 of 2007, to encourage member states to take action in raising awareness about people with autism spectrum disorder and support the research finding new ways to improve wellness and inclusion.

Finally, the notion of autism as a spectrum was developed in 2013 by the “American Psychiatric Association” in the fifth edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” by combining all subcategories of autism and related conditions into one unified category, including varied characteristics, severity, and presentation of the symptoms.

World Autism Awareness Day timeline

2013

Autism is a Spectrum

The "American Psychiatric Association" develops a unified category of Autism Spectrum in the "Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders".

2007

World Autism Awareness Day

Created by the United Nations General Assembly, World Autism Awareness Day lands on April 2 every year.

1995

Studies on the Asperger Syndrome

As a result of her 30 year study, Sula Wolff publishes that children with Asperger syndrome represent the most subtle and most able end of the autism spectrum because they become independent as adults and display exceptional gifts.

1970's

Pharmaceutical Treatments

Treatments included secretin injection and risperidone to act on dopamine receptors.

World Autism Awareness Day FAQs

What causes Autism?

Scientists found recently that many genetic mutations can be associated with autism, the results show that there are more than 100 autism risk genes. But also most of the cases have a complex combination of genetic and environmental factors.

How can I know if my child has autism?

Autism is not diagnosed until the age of 2 years and only a specialist (psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist) can diagnose it, but there are some things to look for, like lack of sharing sound, smiles and facial expressions by 9 months or forming words by 16 months.

What to do after a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disease?

It can be a struggle in the first months to accept the condition but the best way to deal with this diagnosis is to educate yourself and search for the help of a specialist (psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist) cause there are a lot of resources and treatments that can help you.

How to Observe World Autism Awareness Day

  1. Share information online

    Even nowadays when almost everyone has access to information, there are still many people that don't know about autism and the characteristics of people with it. Become an advocate for the autistic community by educating the masses.

  2. Get involved with autism associations

    There are many people who either have autism or have a family member with autism and are a part of community-wide, nation-wide, or global-wide association. Get in contact with them to get involved in any activities planned for the day.

  3. Take care of the people with autism spectrum diagnosis you know

    World Autism Awareness Day is the perfect day to have a good time with your friends who are diagnosed with autism! Make sure to plan sensory-sensitive activities for you both to enjoy and pack gluten-free and casein-free foods to share.

5 FACTS FOR AUTISM AWARENESS

  1. The prevalence

    In 2018 approximately 1 in 59 children were diagnosed being on the autism spectrum — boys are more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.

  2. An early diagnosis can be really helpful

    Autism can be diagnosed as early as age 2. Early intervention affords the best opportunity to support wellness.

  3. Autism spectrum carries associated conditions

    Children with autism disorders are most likely to suffer from gastrointestinal disorders than other children, also more than half of children with autism have chronic sleep disorders.

  4. An expensive disorder

    It's estimated that the cost of caring for the services required (including the diet) for autism can be $196 billion per year on adults and $66 billion per year for children.

  5. It's awesome to be different!

    People with autism spectrum disorders can help to make a change in the world! All they need to be successful is treatment and support from their environment. Just take people like Tim Burton, Charles Darwin, Bill Gates, and Albert Einstein as an example.

Why World Autism Awareness Day is Important

  1. There is no cure, but there are treatments!

    Nowadays, there are many ways to treat autism spectrum disorders, but they can only be reached when the person is diagnosed! By becoming aware we can help others to get in touch with specialists and start a treatment that can increase their wellness.

  2. Don't try to change, start by understanding!

    People with autism spectrum disorders have specific characteristics, behaviors, tastes, and ways to do things! The key is to understand their way to see the world and their performance without trying to make them change.

  3. Adulthood with Autism disorders

    There is no cure for Autism spectrum disorders! Once you get diagnosed it's a condition for the rest of your life, and research demonstrates that job activities that encourage independence can increase daily skills and reduce autism symptoms.

World Autism Awareness Day dates
YearDateDay
2020April 2Thursday
2021April 2Friday
2022April 2Saturday
2023April 2Sunday
2024April 2Tuesday