World Autism Awareness Day
April 2nd is the eleventh annual World Autism Awareness Day. There are many ways Autism Awareness is celebrated on this day, throughout the month, and year-round. World Autism Awareness Day usually has Presidential and Congressional declarations and there are a variety of online events people can participate in locally or nationally.
Autism Speaks has a yearly campaign for Autism Awareness Day of “Light It Up Blue.” The campaign encourages people to wear blue, businesses to use blue lights, and use the hashtag #LIUB.
On April 29th, Autism Speaks is sponsoring a fundraising walk at Principal Park Stadium. Participants can join as a team or individually to help raise money to support those with Autism Spectrum Disorders. These walks will take place in over 70 different locations across the United States. Since 1999, the Autism Society has used a puzzle patterned ribbon to show support and create awareness for ASD. They offer a variety of merchandise, apparel, ribbons, and magnets with the design for purchase on their website.
The Autism Society has also teamed up with AMC Theatres to play Sensory Friendly films at each of their theaters. These are films with closed captioning and descriptions of sound but played without loud sounds that can be overstimulating for those with ASD. The Des Moines area has three AMC Theatre locations: Southridge 12, Cobblestone 9, and Johnston 16. To look for Sensory Friendly films and showtimes, please visit the AMC Theatre website.