Today marks the seventh annual Autism Awareness Day, a day where we celebrate and raise awareness of autism. In a recent article released by the University of British Columbia featuring an interview with Pat Mirenda, the UBC researcher and education expert shares new evidence that one in 68 kids has autism and notes that it is time Canada developed a national autism strategy. To read the full article, click here.
Despite the high prevalence of autism, there is a still lot that we can do to raise awareness in society, and to create more welcoming and inclusive communities for all. From international through to local initiatives, we can all play a part and the month of April is a great time to get involved.
The global Light It Up Blue campaign by Autism Speaks suggests ways to do just that – from lighting up a building through to spreading the word about autism in your workplace, among family, friends and even complete strangers. You might try wearing something blue as well.
There are other great initiatives happening too – have you heard about the art auction precipitated by the wishes of Linden, a talented five year old girl from Burnaby who happens to have autism? Linden loves painting, making kids happy and putting her artistic talents to work to help others. In two weeks, she created 20 paintings for the auction, with all proceeds going to the BC Children’s Hospital and the Canucks Autism Network. Check out her feature story on Global BC News.
We have a lot of local heroes in our community and would like to take this opportunity to thank the Canucks Autism Network (CAN) and their hundreds of volunteers for supporting children and families by providing access to sports, recreational, social and employment related programs. CAN also builds awareness and capacity through community networks across BC. Take a look at the video below, share it with others and come on out to join thousands of supporters in Vancouver on April 12 for the annual CAN Walk and Family Festival.
Do you have lived experience with autism? Share your stories and photos with us online on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #WAAD and #Autism and #DiverseAbility.
To learn more about resources and supports for individuals and families living with autism, please contact posAbilities-Laurel Behaviour Support Services at 778-945-1430, email laurel@ posAbilities.ca or visit www.laurelbc.ca. We also maintain a list of current resources that includes integrated and adapted activities and are happy to share!