Did you know that World Autism Awareness Day takes place on April 2nd every year, thanks to the initiatives of the United Nations which began encouraging Member States to raise awareness of persons with autism spectrum disorders and Asperger's syndrome? In 2008 the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities reaffirmed the fundamental principle of human rights for all, embracing respect for the inherent dignity of persons with autism, and supporting inclusion in education, employment, health, and all other spheres of life.
A complex neurodevelopmental disorder that presents from an early age, usually around 3 years, autism (ASD) is characterized by lasting challenges with or impairments to social communication and interaction, manifesting in repetitive patterns in human behavior; constant movement; fixations on activities or object; routines or rituals; and/or extreme sensitivity to light, sound, or touch. More common to males than females, it is becoming increasingly prevalent -- according to the latest reports of the Center for Disease Control, it is diagnosed at the rate of about 1 in 54 children, across all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. While there is no known cure, treatment options include behavior and communication therapy; diet; medication; and complimentary or alternative medicine.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Whitehouse, D. (1997, Dec 03). The Foggy Daze: It's Autism Awareness Week. The Guardian (1959-2003)
- James, J. (2002, Mar 20). In Sharp Focus. The Guardian (1959-2003)
- Autism Forum Members To Meet Governor With Charter Of Demands. (2008, Mar 29). The Times of India (1861-Current)
- U.N. Marks First World Autism Awareness Day April 2. (2008, Apr 02). US Fed News Service, Including US State News.
- Understanding Autism: World Autism Awareness Day. (2008, Apr 02).The Times of India (1861-Current)
- Autism: Ignorance Is Bliss.. (2008, Apr 02). The Times of India (1861-Current)
- O'Brien, C. (2010, Nov 12). Global Award For Grace App That Helps Children With Autism. The Irish Times (1921-Current File)
- O'Halloran, G. (2012, Mar 21). Blue Is the Colour For World Autism Awareness Day: Charity. The Irish Times (1921-Current File)
- Holden, L. (2013, Apr 09). Off the Spectrum: New Figures Show 1% Of Children Are On the Autism Spectrum and Schools Face An "Explosion Of Need" For Places and Services. The Irish Times (1921-Current File)
- Heylin, C. (2014, Apr 01). What We Learn From Children With Autism Doesn't Come From Textbooks: Iconic Buildings All Over the World Will Be Lit Up In Blue Tomorrow To Mark World Autism Awareness Day. The Irish Times (1921-Current File)
- Walsh, L. (2014, Apr 02). 'I Wish Matthew Could Be Healed Of Autism'. The Irish Times (1921-Current File)
- Walsh, L. (2014, Apr 05). In Praise Of Rachel Cahill. The Irish Times (1921-Current File)
- Feinstein, Adam. A History of Autism: Conversations with the Pioneers. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. e-book
- Grandin, Temple and Mark J. Deesing, eds. Genetics and the Behavior Of Domestic Animals. 2nd ed. Amsterdam, Boston: Elsevier, c2014. e-book
- Grandin, Temple. Thinking In Pictures: And Other Reports From My Life With Autism. 2nd ed. New York: Vintage Books, c2006.
- Perry, Nancy. Adults On the Spectrum Leave the Nest: Achieving Supported Independence. London, Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley, 2009. e-book
- World Autism Awareness Day, Courtesy of pixy.org
- Special News Slide, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries
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