Thursday, 2 April 2015

Autism awareness day- today

Were you aware?

Today is the 8th annual autism awareness day. Autism awareness day aims to help raise awareness of and fundraise to help increase knowledge of autism, highlighting the need to help improve the quality of life for those affected by autism. Recent studies found that around 80% of individuals who have autism are unemployed, so clearly more needs to be done to help and assist people into work.

'Light it up blue' is something which is taking place worldwide today, where landmarks around the world light up blue to raise awareness for autism. In London, Trafalgar square will be lit up to support the cause. Individuals are also being encouraged to 'light it up blue', at home, in school and in the office, by changing normal light bulbs to blue ones, tinting windows with gel sheets or by covering fixtures with blue gel fixtures. The 'light it up blue' logo can also be stuck up on walls, windows and buildings to help raise awareness. 

One of the main ideas of the day is to shine a light on autism and all those affected by it, and allow for the conversations to be started surrounding autism. It's also a great opportunity for people to learn a bit more about a topic which is often a bit taboo. 

In order to help raise awareness, we've got a few facts surrounding autism which you may not have been aware of before...

  • Autism is identified as many as four times more often in males than in females. For asperger syndrome, which is a form of autism, the ratio is even higher, with around 10 males to every 1 female diagnosed. 
  • While there has been an increase in the number of children receiving autism spectrum diagnoses, rather than mean autism is on the increase, it is more likely that the awareness and diagnosis has improved.
  • Autism currently cannot be reliably diagnosed before the age of 2 years old. 
  • Autism affects the ability to communicate with others, and relate to other people. People with autism often struggle in making sense of the world around them. These things can often cause high anxiety.
  • People with autism struggle in social situations, namely with social communication, social interaction and social imagination, although they do like to have the company of others.
  • Genetic factors play an influential role in the cause of autism
  • Some individuals with autism have intellectual impairment, while others are often within, or above, the normal range.
Why not use today to brush up on your knowledge of autism, and maybe share that new information with others, to help change the view on those with autism and improve their quality of life. To get even more involved, why not join in with the 'light it up blue' movement, and use the hashtag '#LIUB' to share your pictures or posts.

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