April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD).

My 9 year old son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. He is doing very well thanks to intensive early intervention, dietary changes and other stuff. This is not the norm and most children with autism have none or limited access to services and do not do so well.

World Autism Awareness Day is an initiative aimed to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). There is an epidemic of ASD and other ‘alphabet’ diagnoses such as ADHD, ODD, and OCD. The increase can be attributed to greater awareness of these conditions and more accurate diagnoses but scientists are beginning to accept that there has been a ‘real’ increase. It is likely that environmental triggers, in combination with genetics, are to blame. My poem ‘Mercury Rising‘ is about this issue.

Here is a message from the WAAD team.

ps. Don’t forget to wear blue on the day!

pps. Large fish and mammals in the sea have accumulated mercury deposits – please don’t eat dolphins and whales!


World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) is on Friday 2 April 2010!

If you are in Melbourne on Thursday 1 April, please join Autism Victoria and the 1000 hours team for our WAAD event.

To mark WAAD, Autism Victoria are organising a march from their office in Carlton to the State Library. Once at the library, they will be releasing 1000 multi-coloured balloons representing the individuality of those on the Autism Spectrum and to support the 1000 Hours Campaign.

Date: Thursday 1 April 2010

Time: 12pm meet at Autism Victoria, 24 Drummond St, Carlton

Venue: March to the State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne

For those of you who aren’t able to make it to Melbourne, there are other ways in which you can help mark this day and increase awareness of Autism to the community.

Wear Blue on Friday 2 April 2010!

Wherever you are in the world, as you go about your day, dress in blue to help raise awareness for Autism.

Join us on Facebook!Join the 1000 hours campaign on Facebook and invite all your friends to also join. You can also change your profile picture to the WAAD logo and add a personal message on your wall to help spread the word.
Light it up Blue events

On the night of April 1, prominent buildings around the world, including the Empire State Building in New York City and the CN Tower in Toronto Canada, will be lit up blue to raise awareness for autism and to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day on Friday, April 2.

In Australia Federation Square, Melbourne, King George Square, Brisbane and The Bell Tower, Perth will all be turning on their lights blue to show their support of world Autism Awareness Day. To find out more, please visit: http://www.lightitupblue.org/

Level 3, 126 Greville St, Chatswood NSW 2067

12 thoughts on “World Autism Awareness Day

  1. Strangely enough in France, where they eat almost anything that moves, they don’t eat these lovely beasts. Did I tell you that scientist are lobbying for dolphins to have “human” rights? sorry if I’m repeating myself…

    so it’s tomorrow (autism day)…will wear blue, for sure! thanks for the reminder!

    1. Cheers for the French! You did mention it, but repeat away as it is an important issue. Yes tomorrow (in Australia – maybe the following day where you are – as we are ahead of you, I think) is the day – a pity it is on a public holiday.

  2. My youngest is stepmother to an autistic child she has encouraged, cajoled and loved into performing so well he is now comfortably in the mainstream at school. Hats off to you Gabrielle, I have some idea of what goes into you achievements. It’s blue for me tomorrow!

    1. It’s a full-time job mainstreaming an autistic child but well worth the effort. We had Michael’s parent teacher interview yesterday and the teacher just loves him and he’s doing really well (except one or two incidents we need not mention). Hat’s off to your youngest as well. Thanks Stafford (just an aside – I see Telstra is extending its ineptitude to Hughesy as well – oh dear!)

  3. I will proudly wear blue tomorrow in support of this worthwhile cause, Gabrielle. You are your son’s champion and my hero.

  4. I will don my blue as well Gabrielle. You are a wonderful mother and from this mum to you HUGS for both you and your son. 🙂

    1. Ha,ha – I love the smurfs Bryan(I have the rubber figurines hiding in spots around the house – for the kids of course). I’m not a blue sort of person, red and pink are more my thing, but I managed to find an ensemble. Good onya mate and thanks for the support!

  5. We took our exuberant grandson to a nearby tourist destination yesterday – which I won’t identify to ensure the privacy of the very helpful young woman who was one of the employees there. In the past I would have been surprised at how the excellent service she provided during our all-day trip-visit didn’t seem to be matched by the kind of recognisable facial expressions or other reactions that one would expect during the social interactions we had with her. I would have considered her as remarkably unfriendly even though she gave us excellent help and attention, especially our 12-year-old grandson. But after reading your blog for several months, I found myself thinking that just maybe this young woman was autistic – and instead of being perplexed by her, I was very impressed by her obvious achievements in spite of likely challenges, and concluded she was a terrific asset to her employer. So you see, you have heightened my awareness and appreciation of so-called disabled adults, and caused me to focus instead on their outstanding ableness. Gpod job!

    1. Well Chartreuse, you have made my day! She probably is on the autistic spectrum. Often people assume that people with ASD are rude or arrogant (when they don’t know they are autistic) and it is simply their manner and inability to adopt the correct postures and use chit chat (which neurotypical people find so easy to do). They often have a strange prosody to their speech, either a monotone or expressionless voice or using accents and so on. They often look aloof because they are avoiding eye contact. They are often very good at jobs that others find tedious and monotonous – repetitive jobs.

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