Monday April 2, 2018 is World Autism Awareness Day

The 11th Annual World Autism Awareness Day is Monday, April 2,2018. The day’s goal is to raise awareness and spotlight the hurdles that individuals on the spectrum and those that love and support them face each day.

World Autism Awareness Day encourages celebration of the many unique talents of autistic individuals through execution of a variety of community events around the globe.

As “Autism Age” children graduate out of controlled school environments, it is important acknowledge what may happen to these young adults. Many can’t drive or live independently, perform well in a job interview or even know how to make friends or connections.

Unfortunately, with support programs no longer readily available, many become more reclusive and separated from peers. Society views an adult with Autism much differently than they do a child.

Many great strides have been made, but much more needs to be done by providing access to opportunities for those on the spectrum. The social, economic and mental health impacts are significant and will only continue to grow.

Given the numbers, nearly everyone knows someone affected by autism. Consider what you can do to help. A large gesture like asking your HR department if they have any openings and then providing information on the spectrum would be significant. Employers may learn that with a little patience and small accommodations, they will get a dedicated on time, hard working, honest employee. But even the small gestures matter. Encourage someone on the spectrum to go out to lunch or movies- it will make a difference! And of course, show your support on April 2nd, Autism Awareness Day by wearing blue.

Posted Mar 31, 2016 at 11:59 PMUpdated Mar 31, 2016 at 11:59 PM

This Saturday, April 2, marks the eighth annual Autism Awareness Day. The event is designed to raise the awareness of autism and its effects on families, schools, and communities. The autism epidemic is not slowing, and some studies indicate that is growing. Now one in 68 children and one in 42 boys are diagnosed on the spectrum.

This means it is VERY likely you know someone impacted by autism. The “Autism generation” has now reached adult age, or they will in the next few years. The impacts on school special needs budgets has already been huge. The effects on society and the economy are next. Thousands of young adults are entering adulthood without the ability to succeed in a job interview despite their intellect, drive an automobile or live independently. Parents are faced with the challenges of what to do? Do they incur college debt to send their potentially high IQ child to higher education without any guarantees of any career opportunities other than minimum wage? Transportation back and forth from college and or work is also a large problem of families with autistic children. What to do do about housing, employment, and long-term care for loved ones can lead to many sleepless nights. Estimates are the financial costs to a family affected by autism is $60,000 a year. The impact on Social Security, metal health and general health care and the social society is still to be determined.

All is not not bad. A large majority of children on the autism spectrum have received quality educations in a inclusive school curriculum. This has made the younger generation more toleratnt and understanding of those with special needs. Many employers are now learning that making small accommodations for those on the autism spectrum ensures them a hard-working, bright and loyal employee. More and more we are seeing either on the evening news or in local papers how people on the autism spectrum are changing the world or having an impact in their communities.

Much more work needs to be done on autism and it causes and effects. Trust me, it’s not always easy being a parent of an autistic child, but in the end it’s always rewarding.

Please remember to wear blue on Saturday April 2 to raise the awareness of autism and it impacts on society.

Original post from 2015

World Autism Day is Thursday, April 2. One in 68 children are now diagnosed on the autism spectrum. As the largest generation of those diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum enter adulthood, the impact of Autism and its monetary costs will be realized by the general public.

The public schools and early intervention programs work well, when parents learn how to navigate the process and get what is best for their children. Children on the spectrum are some of the brightest, kindest people you will ever meet. Many on the spectrum have the skills, knowledge and education to make an impact on the world. However, many will never drive, live independently, or have the social skills to live and compete in the workplace.

A recent research study done by Autism Speaks estimated that 3.5 million people are currently diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum in the United State alone! The study estimated the national cost of supporting children with autism is $61 billon a year! The bulk of childhood costs are in special education and lost parental income. During adulthood the highest costs are residential care and lack of transportation and employment. The study indicates, and any parent who has a child on the spectrum knows, there needs to be an emphasis on polices to make the workplace friendlier to families of children with disabilities. Early intervention has proven to benefit those on the spectrum, but most of those services stop after the school years, and far too many young adults end up living in residential homes. Is this a failure of society to provide options and opportunities to integrate young autistic adults into our communities?

There are no easy answers on how to cope with this issue. Budgets are strained and there is no sign of Autism disorders slowing down. Investing in early intervention will benefit and is a must in helping future generations. What now must be addressed is how to help the young adults and families cope with the challenges of living productive and awarding lives.

Please wear blue on April 2.World Autism Day aims to increase people’s awareness of autism and its impacts.