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Wear blue on World Autism Awareness Day

Did you know that about one in 50 children and youth in Canada are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and that number continues to grow?

That’s among the facts Autism Speaks Canada is sharing as it asks you to show your support for Canadians with autism by wearing blue on World Autism Awareness Day on Tuesday, April 2.

Autism touches more than 70 million people globally, Autism Speaks Canada reports. In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day. On that day, many countries around the world light up their landmarks in blue to help increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism. In 2012, the Canadian Parliament passed the World Autism Awareness Day Act recognizing April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day.

Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental difference in which autistic people perceive the world, think and interact with others in unique ways. Each autistic person has a unique set of traits within the spectrum. Abilities, skills and how characteristics present can change over time depending on circumstances and environment.

Common autistic behaviours include spinning, flapping hands, jumping, vocalizations, biting nails and twirling hair, according to Autism Speaks Canada. Stimming may also involve the use of an object, such as flicking lights on and off, tapping pencils or throwing items. Self-stimulatory behaviours can help a person with autism calm down or provide simulation for those experiencing sensory under-responsiveness, it adds.

Autism Speaks Canada is dedicated to creating an inclusive Canada for all individuals with autism throughout their lifespan through advocacy, services, supports, research and innovation, and advances in care for autistic individuals and their families. You can show your support for autistic Canadians throughout World Autism Month with Autism Speaks Canada merchandise. The site also offers ways to support the organization’s work, such as supporting fundraisers.

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