World Autism Awareness Day takes place every year on the 2nd of April and is a designated United Nations Day of Observance.
On December 18th 2007, The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day, to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with Autism so that they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.
This year, the theme of Autism Awareness Day is ‘Transformation: Toward a Neuro-Inclusive World for All’
Read more about World Autism Awareness Day here or see the UN website – https://www.un.org/en/observances/autism-day
What can you do to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day?
- Speak to the Autistic people in your life, find out how they would like to mark the day.
- Promote understanding and acceptance of the Autistic community within your friend and family circles.
- Learn more by reading a book or watching a video relating to Autism or Autistic people’s experiences.
- If the Autistic person in your life has a particular interest/hobby, why not organise a family day out/activity centred around that.
- If you own a business, learn more about how you can support people with Autism by getting in touch with us.
- Remember that every Autistic person is different, every person has their strengths and challenges, treat each person with respect and as an individual.
What can your School do to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day?
- Talk to your Autistic pupils, ask how they feel the school can promote more understanding and acceptance.
- Consider holding a school-wide awareness day and share some resources with your pupils.
- Contact the Irish Society for Autism to request some information resources for your school.
- Twinkl, the NCSE, Outside the Box and the Middletown Centre for Autism also have numerous resources available which may help.
The Amazing Things Happen video below may be helpful
What the Irish Society for Autism is Doing for World Autism Awareness Day
The Urgency for Autism Specific Legislation
This year the Irish Society for Autism proudly celebrates our 60th anniversary.
The Irish Society for Autism was established in 1963. Sixty years later in 2023, and almost twenty seven years after the European Charter of Rights for Persons with Autism was passed by the European Parliament, the basic needs and human rights of Autistic people in Ireland are still not being met. While much has been achieved throughout those years (read more about our work here), a lot more progress is required in order to ensure that the rights of Autistic people are enshrined in law.
Many Autistic children cannot access an appropriate assessment of their needs in a timely manner and the window for crucial Early Intervention passes them by. Accessing basic healthcare services and suitable educational placements sometimes require unnecessary formal or legal battles that families have to navigate in addition to daily life. Clear pathways to assessment and services for Autistic adults are not in place and provisions for their future are unclear.
Now more than ever, it is evident that we must continue to move towards the implementation of Autism specific legislation in order to address these challenges and put in place a legal framework to ensure that the rights of Autistic people are recognised and upheld. The Society has been working consistently over the past number of years to challenge the government to ensure that the rights of autistic people are protected in law.
The Autism Bill 2017 is currently in its 2nd stage of the Dáil, having passed all 5 stages in the Seanad. All Government Departments, State Bodies, and Committees need to come together to move the Autism Bill forward.