WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY
World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), on April 2nd each year shines a bright light on a growing global health crisis.
According to the National Autism Association, Autism affects 1 in 59 children. The bio-neurological developmental disability usually presents itself by the age of three, and it is more prevalent in boys than girls.
As children with autism grow older, they face all sorts of obstacles. Because many don’t speak or use social cues as you or I do, they become targets for bullies or are excluded altogether. Children with autism are also vulnerable to drowning because they wander from their homes and schools. Due to their inability to communicate, they cannot tell someone their name or where they live, either. Additionally, as adults, they are more likely to unemployed or underemployed.
However, resources are available for families and schools to help keep children safe and to support them lead happy and healthy lives. Visit the National Autism Association website for resources, guides and tips for families and schools.
The day also focuses on the growing need for programs designed to support those with autism now and in the future.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldAutismAwarenessDay or #WAAD
Throughout the day, organizations hold events supporting autism awareness. Attend an event and show your support for someone you know. Share your story and make your voice heard.
While the day also celebrates the stories and lives of those with autism, it’s also important to remember that autism is a life long condition with varying degrees of severity. It’s important to continue to support research for treatment and therapies that will improve the lives of those with autism. Speak out about autism to help eliminate the stigma associated with it. And use #WorldAutismDay to share on social media.
WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY HISTORY
The United Nations General Assembly declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness day in 2008 to draw attention to the growing need for innovative programs designed to support those with autism.
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April 2nd Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
RMS Titanic with a skeleton crew on board begins sea trials to determine her seaworthiness.
The science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey premiers in Washington, D.C. Stanley Kubrick directs the movie he co-wrote with fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke. A journey to Jupiter brings astronaut Dr. Dave Bowman and a malfunctioning HAL (Heuristically programmed Algorithmic computer) together in a race for evolutionary advancement. The film received four Oscar nominations, winning Best Effects, Special Visual Effects.
The NCAA changes the game of men’s college basketball with the adoption of the three-point shot. A game-changer that had already been adopted by professional leagues decades earlier, the three-point goal is a strategy that is commonplace today.
Rita Johnston succeeds William Vander Zalm as Premier of British Columbia becoming the first woman to serve a Canadian province in this capacity.
April 2nd Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
Hans Christian Andersen – 1805
The most famous and prolific writer of fairytales in history, Andersen first published in 1829 and brought to us written versions of the “Princess and the Pea,” “The Ugly Duckling,” “The Little Mermaid,” and many more. Where Grimm’s tales could take on a darker cast and unmistakably written with adults in mind, Andersen’s stories are sweet and warm.
Walter Chrysler – 1875
Before launching his own company, Walter Chrysler’s automotive career began at Buick and Maxwell Motor Company. On June 6, 1925, Walter Chrysler established the Chrysler Corporation, bought out Maxwell, and started two new brands – Plymouth and DeSoto.
Buddy Ebsen – 1908
Probably best known for his roles as Jed Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies and the title character in Barnaby Jones, Ebsen began his career on stage. In 1938, Victor Fleming cast Ebsen as the Scarecrow in the MGM musical The Wizard of Oz. However, due to a casting change, Ebsen’s new role became the Tin Man. Unfortunately, the aluminum dust in the Tin Man makeup caused an allergic reaction making it impossible for Ebsen to return to the set. Jack Haley replaced Ebsen in the role as Tin Man.
Charles White – 1918
Born in Chicago, Charles White was introduced to the world of art at a young age. The Art Institute of Chicago recognized his talent in the seventh grade when he earned a grant. White left a legacy of work illustrating Black America through several generations. While working in several mediums, his most noted piece is a mural at Hampton University called “The Contribution of the Negro to American Democracy.”
Ruth Heller – 1924
The Canadian author and graphic artist is best known for her colorful children’s educational books including Up, UP and Away: A Book About Adverbs, and Fantastic! Wow! and Unreal! a Book About Interjections and Conjunctions.
Paul Avery – 1934
Paul Avery provided his journalistic skills to aid detectives in the search for the infamous Zodiac killer. From the office of the San Francisco Chronicle, Avery would also become a target, and his sleuthing never revealed the identity of the serial killer.
Marvin Gaye – 1939
Marvin Gaye’s silky baritone voice earned him the nickname “Prince of Motown” in the 1960s and 1970s. Hits like “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You” and “What’s Going On” transcended genres and audiences.
Emmylou Harris – 1947
The award-winning folk and country artist joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1992. At the time, some of her hits included “Together Again,” “Two More Bottles of Wine,” and “If I Need You.”
Rodney King – 1965
Following a high-speed chase in 1991, four L.A.P.D. officers pulled Rodney King from his car and brutally beat him. The incident is recorded by George Holliday. When the four officers are acquitted nearly a year later, six days of riots follow.
John Edward Brown – 1879
Irene Mayer Selznick – 1907
Jesse Plemons – 1988