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United Nations Declare Day to Celebrate Autism

United Nations Declare Day to Celebrate Autism

Saturday 2 April, has been designated World Autism Awareness Day by the United Nations General Assembly and Autism New Zealand is hoping that all New Zealanders will try to better understand this often confusing condition.

Community activities are planned across the country to raise awareness and schools are planning to hold special mufti days on Friday, 1 April to help to raise the profile of autism in New Zealand.

While Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of this country’s most prevalent childhood disabilities, many people know very little about the disorder and its effect on families, says Autism NZ Chief Executive Alison Molloy.

The Governor General, Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand added his support by saying, “It is with pleasure that I send this message to support World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.”

“I understand that Autism Spectrum Disorders, including Asperger’s Syndrome, affect more than 40,000 New Zealanders and their families, and so the practical support provided by organisations such as Autism New Zealand in parent education, support groups for people on the spectrum, and just being a listening ear is to be welcomed.”

“As Governor-General, I urge all New Zealanders to seek to gain a real understanding of the lives of people with autism and their families, and support them in the spirit of New Zealand’s long standing commitment to human rights for all people.”

“In fact a world without Autism would be a lesser world and we must support those with ASD to make the most of their ability,” says Alison Molloy. “Many with ASD have made very significant contributions to the world we live in, particularly in the fields of science, maths, music, the arts and computing. With diagnosis and support, those with Autism can make a wonderful contribution to our community.”

The Hon. Rodney Hide offered his support by saying “I am pleased to be able to support World Autism Awareness day, 2 April 2011. One of the greatest challenges for people with autism is to be accepted and understood by others. World Autism Awareness Day is an opportunity to challenge perceptions about autism and encourage communities to be welcoming and supportive of people who are isolated by their disability.”

ENDS

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