Autism Parenting Magazine Issue 74 (Member's Dashboard) - Page 8

AUTISM ADVOCACY How You Can Promote Autism Awareness This April By Katherine G. HOBBS Autism Awareness Month I n April 1970, the Autism Society celebrated the first Autism Awareness Month. During this month, the American public is encouraged to further ed- ucate themselves on autism, how to recognize the early warning signs, and support research efforts. Events are held nationwide and range from celebrations of the diversity of people with autism to public education seminars. In addition, many landmarks around the world are illuminated in blue on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day. While there are conflicting points of view on whether Au- tism Awareness Month should celebrate those with autism or serve as a time for recognizing what some call a global crisis, there is a consensus that the au- tism community is best served by this month being a time for education, acceptance, and further research 8 | Autism Parenting Magazine | Issue 74 into the causes of and best therapies for individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The Autism Ribbon Perhaps the most common symbol of the month is the puzzle piece ribbon often displayed as a pin, bumper sticker, or on T-shirts. The ribbon was devel- oped in 1999 by the Autism Society and is now the universal symbol for autism awareness. According to the Autism Society: “The puzzle pattern refle 7G2FR6WGbFPWF67V7G'VFRFffW&VB6'2B6W0&W&W6VBFRFfW'6GbFRVRBf֖ƖW0ƗfrvFFR6FFFR'&vFW72bFR&"Ц&6v2R( BRFBF&Vv7&V6V@v&VW72bWF6BF&VvV&ǒFW'fVЧFB66W72F&&FR6W'f6W27W'G2