World Autism Awareness Day is on Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 this year and it is the eighth annual time that autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with fundraising and awareness-raising events.
What is Autism?
Autism Ontario defines it as “a neurological developmental disorder that affects an individual’s ability to communicate and interact with others. It is diagnosed 4:1 in a boys to girls
ratio and now affects 1 in 94 individuals in Canada. ASD typically affects three areas of development: Language, social interaction and behaviour.”
World Autism Awareness Day is a day that is dedicated to educating and shedding light to a growing global health crisis. It was brought about to increase knowledge of the autism epidemic and, since it is an increasingly common disorder, educating oneself on early diagnosis and early intervention may be helpful. Additionally, WAAD celebrates the unique talents and skills of persons with autism and is a day when individuals with autism are warmly welcomed and embraced in community events around the globe. Many structures, landmarks, and buildings are among the hundreds of thousands of homes and communities that take part to “Light It Up Blue” (#LIUB) in honor of kicking off World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness month.
Wherever you live, you can join in by lighting your work or home blue:
I had a couple of people ask me what Niagara Falls is doing for World Autism Awareness Day and for Autism Awareness Month, so here are a few things:
Niagara Falls Illumination will “Light It Up Blue”
Confirmed for April 2nd, 2015, the Niagara Falls will be lit blue for a 15 minute duration from 8:30 pm to 8:45 pm in honor of World Autism Awareness Day.
For the 2015 regular illumination times, click the image below:
**Niagara Region Chapter Summer Camp Registration opens April 1st, 2015
The Niagara Region Chapter is one of only two Autism Ontario Chapters which operate a Summer Camp. This camp is run for six consecutive weeks over the July and August summer months. The camp is run in three locations across the Niagara Region; St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, and Welland (with two weeks in each location).
This camp is for ages 5-21 with Classic Autism, or for ages 5-12 with High Functioning Autism. The groups are kept separate for the majority of the day, coming together for daily swimming excursions as well as weekly outings. Each parent is able to register their child for up to two weeks of camp, with more weeks available depending upon registration numbers.
For more information on the Summer Camp please click here or contact the Program Coordinator at [email protected]
Autism Awareness Information Fair and Fun Festival
Quiet Time With The Easter Bunny
On Sunday, March 29th, the Pen Centre is offering Autism Ontario families a chance for children to come and have their photo taken with the Easter Bunny.
For children with severe sensory challenges, appointments will be scheduled on a first come first serve basis from 10:00 am-11:00 am.
There will be appointments for 4 families for each 15 minute block (10:00-10:15, 10:15-10:30, 10:30-10:45, 10:45-11:00).
All other families with Autism Ontario are welcome to come any time throughout the day.
**Whether by appointment or drop in, be sure to mention you are with Autism Ontario and you will receive a 30% discount on any pictures you purchase.
To book an appointment, please email Jordan at [email protected]
Municipal flag-raising ceremonies in Niagara
There are various Flag Raising ceremonies across the Niagara Region at these municipal City Halls on April 2nd:
Welland (60 east Main St.)
Fort Erie (3720 Bertie St.)
Niagara Falls (4310 Queen St.)
Port Colbourne (66 Charlotte St.)
NOTL (1593 Four Mile Creek Rd.)
The Pen Centre (221 Glendale Av.)
Grimsby (160 Livingston Ave)
West Lincoln (318 Canborough St.)
Wainfleet (31940 Highway 3)
St. Catharines (50 Church St.)
If you wish to donate to Autism Ontario, please click here.
If you are a parent of a child with Special Needs, whether it be Autism or CP, here is a link to a great online resource for parents at every stage of the journey of caring for their special needs children. From learning more about special needs to picking a school, planning a financial future, and getting past the bullying and discrimination that so often plague people with special needs, click here.