UN Focuses on Research, Health Services on World Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awareness Day, and the United Nations has placed a focus on how best to help those suffering from autism spectrum disorders and their families.

Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General, said in a statement that countries around the world need to step up their efforts to address the needs of the autistic, research this disorder, and help those impacted with health services.

“On this Day in New York, Vienna and Geneva, the United Nations Postal Administration is releasing six commemorative postage stamps and two collectible envelopes dedicated to autism awareness.  These tiny pieces of paper — with images created by artists who have been diagnosed with autism — will send a powerful message to people around the world that talent and creativity live inside all of us,” the statement says.

New CDC numbers released on Thursday show that one in 88 children are believed to have autism or a related disorder, up from 1 in 110. The rise is believed to be tied to increased screening and better diagnosis. The numbers indicate that one million U.S. children and teens are affected. The numbers have some calling autism an “epidemic” in this country.

Across this country, state landmarks will “Light It Up Blue” in honor of the day. MSNBC aired a segment with information about what parents need to know about autism. And Autism Speaks is a resource for information about the disorder.

TV networks including AMC, MTV, and The Food Network are turning their logos blue in honor of the day. We wrote about an autism fundraiser and the “Light It Up Blue” campaign here. And here are some other ways to get involved.

[Image: some of the Autism Awareness campaign commemorative stamps. Via]


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