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!

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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