April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day
Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with fundraising and awareness-raising events. Currently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, but are almost five times more common among boys than among girls. More individuals are being diagnosed with autism than ever before, but many fundamental questions remain unanswered, including what causes autism and how do we treat it. On April 2 – World Autism Awareness Day – we unite to show our solidarity and support for those affected by an autism spectrum disorder. We raise awareness and money to help improve the lives of those touched by autism.
In celebration of World Autism Awareness Day 2015, Students for Autism Awareness at Yale is:
Spreading the word
During the day, Cross Campus will be filled with many opportunities to learn more about autism. Lawn signs will be displayed that detail facts about Autism Spectrum Disorder, with an emphasis on the diversity of individuals affected. Additionally, members of Students for Autism Awareness at Yale will be stationed around Cross Campus informing people about autism and distributing informational pamphlets.
Displaying friendship and creativity
During the day, the Woolsey Rotunda will be home to a gallery of artwork created by adults with autism from Chapel Haven, a New Haven-based transition program that serves adults with autism, in collaboration with volunteer Yale students. On March 24th, 2015, over 50 students from Yale and Chapel Haven gathered together to create the artwork that will be displayed in the Woolsey Rotunda on April 2nd. After being displayed for the day, the art will be moved to the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, located at 80 Wall Street, where it will remain for the rest of the month.
Fostering conversation between professionals and community members
During the evening, world-renowned autism expert Dr. Fred Volkmar, Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center, will be leading a discussion over dinner in the Berkeley College Fellows Lounge aimed at explaining what autism is, current research in the field, and successful intervention techniques.
Shining a Light on Autism
At night, Harkness Tower will be lit blue in order to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder. As part of the international “Light it Up Blue” campaign, Harkness Tower will illuminate the sky of Yale and New Haven as a beacon of hope and support for those affected by autism.
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