Today, April 2nd, is World Autism Awareness Day. This day was labeled as such by the United Stations back in 2007. This makes it the third annual World Autism Day. Autism is a life long disease that usually appears in the first three years of a person’s life. There are a number of symptoms of the disease including the inability to communicate his or her needs verbally, not responding to name being called, and repeating words or phrases instead of speech. They might also appear deaf, even if they aren’t deaf. Autism sufferers might also display violent or aggressive behavior. If you are helping support Autism Awareness Day, you are asked to wear blue today. For local Autism Awareness Day events in your area, go here.
HBO is jumping in with their support today as well. Tonight, they will be airing an all-new documentary narrated by Kate Winslet. The movie titled A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back To Autism follows one Icelandic mother’s, Margret Dagmar Ericsdottir, journey as she battles to help her ten year old son, Keli, get treatment and improve his way of life. BjÃ¶rk and Sigur Ros also contribute music to the movie which airs tonight on HBO. Check your local listings for times in your area.
In order to mark this day, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made this statement: “Let us join persons with autism, their families and their advocates in a community of voices for greater awareness and understanding. Let us also look within, and re-evaluate our attitudes and those of our societies so we can remove the prejudices that discriminate against persons with disabilities. Let us dedicate ourselves to creating a fair and caring society that affords true dignity and rights for all.”
To find out more about autism, watch this video and also the trailer for A Mother’s Courage below.