Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Three years ago, the United Nations declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day in recognition of the need to better understand the complex developmental disorder. In adopting the resolution (.pdf), members of the U.N. general assembly expressed that they were:
Deeply concerned by the prevalence and high rate of autism in children in all regions of the world and the consequent development challenges to long-term health care, education, training and intervention programmes undertaken by Governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, as well as its tremendous impact on children, their families, communities and societies,
April also marks National Autism Awareness Month in the United States. This month, it might be worth taking a moment to learn more about autism and share your newfound knowledge with others.
You could start by watching the above video of Temple Grandin, PhD, who was diagnosed with autism as a child, speaking at TED about growing up with the disorder and how her brain processes information.
You might also listen to Stanford neurobiologist and father of an autistic son, Ricardo Dolmetsch, PhD, discuss the seemingly growing prevalence of autism and research in his lab in this 1:2:1 podcast.
And if you want to learn more about autism, the ways you can help increase public awareness about autism and the ongoing research efforts visit Autism Speaks.