What is World Autism Acceptance Day?
World Autism Acceptance Day aims to shine a light on autism to increase awareness about life for Autistic adults and children. In addition, organizers hope to impart knowledge about Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) worldwide and spread information on detecting an early diagnosis’s importance.
It’s also an event used for tackling misinformation and myths about living with autism; this includes the often touted statistic of boys being more likely to get diagnosed with autism. While boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism, it’s believed this comes down to girls often being underdiagnosed.
Autism affects both men and women of all races in all countries. It significantly impacts children and is a prevalent condition; raising awareness of ASC is essential!
When is World Autism Acceptance Day held?
Since 2007, World Autism Acceptance Day has been celebrated on 2 April, during which we celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of Autistic people. During this time, many schools and awareness organizations also hold events to increase knowledge and understanding of Autism. In 2023, Autism Acceptance Day will be on Saturday 2nd of April.
World Autism Acceptance Day was established in 2007 by the United Nations General Assembly, which declared that Autism Acceptance Day would be celebrated on 2nd April every year.
What is the theme for World Autism Acceptance Day?
Every year since 2012, the UN has given a theme as we celebrate World Autism Acceptance Day. So far, these are the themes that have been honored:
- 2012 – Awareness Raising
- 2013 – Celebrating the ability within the disability of autism
- 2014 – Opening Doors to Inclusive Education
- 2015 – Employment: The Autism Advantage
- 2016 – Autism and the 2030 Agenda: Inclusion and Neurodiversity
- 2017 – Toward autonomy and self-determination
- 2018 – Empowering Autistic Women and Girls
- 2019 – Assistive Technologies and Active Participation
- 2020 – The Transition to Adulthood
For 2021 & 2023, the UN decided on “Inclusion in the Workplace: Challenges and Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World” as the theme for World Autism Acceptance Day. The reasoning behind this choice is that with the pandemic highlighting some glaring issues that have existed for years and years, it’s worth using this time to reflect on them and take practical action to deal with them. For those with autism, this includes a more understanding work environment and inclusive employment programs.
How to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day:
World Autism Awareness Day is usually celebrated with various events discussing living with the condition. The main aim of these events is to raise awareness of autism and what it’s like living with the illness. There are also exhibitions and art workshops around the country showcasing work created by Autistic children. You’ll also see television, radio shows, and newspapers that feature stories about Autistic children and their lives.
Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, you can celebrate World Autism Day in the following ways:
- Have a discussion about autism with your students. Ask them what they think it is and what else they know, and use that as a launchpad to inform them further.
- Take part in some fundraising activities for a local or national Autism charity.
- Getting involved in events run by autism communities.
- Listen to autistic people speak about what autism means for them.