The eleventh annual Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2018. Hundreds of thousands of buildings and homes around the world, light blue in recognition of people living with autism on this day. In addition, landmarks around the world will turn blue in support of the cause. Niagara Falls, the United Nations, the Empire State Building, the White House and state government buildings are just a few of the landmarks to glow blue on April 2 in years past. On World Autism Awareness Day and throughout April, which is Autism Awareness Month, local organizations hold a variety of events and educational activities to help the public learn more about autism spectrum disorder, which impacts one percent of the world population. Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys, becoming one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the U.S.
Apple is making communication for those with Autism available through user friendly apps such as Poloquo2Go, :prose, and Keeble. These apps make it possible for the user to enable communication tools through touching keys rather than speaking, which is difficult for some who are Autistic. Students are using these tools in USD 475 during lesson plans to communicate their lessons. Also available from Apple are games, videos, and music such as Sesame Street and Autism. These tools can be used at home to communicate with and motivate students to reinforce materials from the classroom.
If you would like to learn more about Autism or would like to support Autism Awareness, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.