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World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day aims to increase people's awareness about people, especially children, with autism. The day often features educational events for teachers, health care workers and parents, as well as exhibitions showcasing work created by children with autism.

Autism affects many children worldwide.
Autism affects many children worldwide.
©iStockphoto.com/ktaylorg

What do people do?

Many events are organized on World Autism Awareness Day. These include:

  • Panel discussions with autism experts, politicians and non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives.
  • Informational events for parents of children with autism.
  • Conferences and workshops for professionals working with people with autism.
  • Artistic workshops for people with autism.
  • Television and radio shows, as well as newspaper features, about people with autism and their lives.
  • The launch of educational materials for parents and teachers.
  • Exhibitions of art work by artists with autism.
  • The display of posters and banners to increase public awareness of autism.

Special clinics are also organized for families dealing with autism to obtain consultations with pediatricians, educational psychologists and social workers

Public life

World Autism Awareness Day is not a public holiday.

Background

Autism is a developmental disability that remains with a person for his or her whole life. This condition affects the brain's functions. The first signs usually appear before a child is three years old. People with autism often:

  • Find social interaction difficult.
  • Have problems with verbal and non-verbal communication.
  • Demonstrate restrictive and repetitive behavior.
  • Have a limited set of interests and activities.

Autism affects girls and boys of all races and in all geographic regions and has a large impact on children, their families, communities and societies. The prevalence is currently rising in many countries around the world. Caring for and educating children and young people with this condition places challenges on health care, education and training programs. 

On November 1, 2007, the United Nations (UN) called for one day each year to be designated as World Autism Day. On December 18, 2007, the UN General Assembly designated April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day. It was first observed in 2008.

World Autism Awareness Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
WedApr 22008World Autism Awareness DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuApr 22009World Autism Awareness DayUnited Nations observance 
FriApr 22010World Autism Awareness DayUnited Nations observance 
SatApr 22011World Autism Awareness DayUnited Nations observance 
MonApr 22012World Autism Awareness DayUnited Nations observance 
TueApr 22013World Autism Awareness DayUnited Nations observance 
WedApr 22014World Autism Awareness DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuApr 22015World Autism Awareness DayUnited Nations observance 
SatApr 22016World Autism Awareness DayUnited Nations observance 
SunApr 22017World Autism Awareness DayUnited Nations observance 
MonApr 22018World Autism Awareness DayUnited Nations observance 
TueApr 22019World Autism Awareness DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuApr 22020World Autism Awareness DayUnited Nations observance 

Quick Facts

World Autism Awareness Day raises an awareness of issues surrounding people, particularly children, with autism worldwide.

World Autism Awareness Day 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

World Autism Awareness Day 2016

Saturday, April 2, 2016

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
World Autism Awareness DayEnglish
Día Mundial de Concienciación sobre el AutismoSpanish
יום מודעות העולמי אוטיזםHebrew
اليوم العالمي للتوحدArabic
세계 자폐증 인식의 날Korean
Welt-Autismus-TagGerman
List of dates for other years

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