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Celebrate First-Ever "World Autism Awareness Day"

April 1, 2008 11:21:26 AM PDT
Local Chapter of Autism Speaks encourages Chicagoans to help support millions of children and families affected by the disorder. WHAT: Inaugural Autism Awareness Day

WHEN: Wednesday, April 2, 2008

WHY: Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder, which now affects one in 150 children born today.

Despite the high prevalence and growing heath care costs associated with caring for a child with autism, autism research receives less than 5 percent of the research funding of many other less prevalent childhood diseases.

In a global effort to raise public awareness about autism and the importance of early diagnosis, research and prevention, April 2, 2008 will be the first annual "World Autism Awareness Day" with international events that will pan across three continents.

LOCAL EVENTS:

Wednesday, April 2: Visit Barnes & Noble for "Lets Be Friends Storytime," where individuals will read from books that encourage compassion and respect for individuals with autism and other disabilities; Webster Place (1441 W. Webster Ave.), 4 pm.

Sunday, May 18: Participate in "Walk Now for Autism," a 5K family walk and autism community resource fair at Soldier Field (for more information, donations, or to sign up, visit www.autismspeaks.org/walk_events.)

  • By 6 months: No big smiles or joyful expressions by six months
  • By 9 months: No sharing of sounds or facial expressions
  • By 12 months: No babbling
  • By 12 months: No back-and-forth gestures

  • By 16 months: No words
  • By 24 months: No meaningful two-word phrases
  • By Loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age

    Autism Statistics:

  • 1 in 94 boys affected
  • New case diagnosed every 20 minutes
  • No medical detection or cure
Lets Be Friends Story Time:
Barnes & Noble
1441 W. Webster Ave., Chicago
4:00 p.m.

Walk Now for Autism
5K family walk and resource fair
Sunday, May 18
Soldier Field


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