April not only marks the month of Easter but also marks Autism Awareness Month.
Initiated by American advocacy group, Autism Society, Autism Awareness Month begins on the 2nd of April – also known as World Autism Awareness Day – and has been celebrated since the 1970s in a bid to increase social concern about autism.
In Singapore, Ms Kavitha Iyer has launched a Facebook campaign that aims to celebrate those with autism, in conjunction with Autism Awareness Month. Called “Celebrating Autism this April,” the campaign was created with the intent to “raise awareness towards acceptance and better integration.”
It has featured about 14 individuals with Autism from all around the world thus far, and Ms Iyer is looking for Singaporean contributors.
She was heartened to see Singapore buildings light up blue on April 2nd and a host of other initiatives to mark Autism Awareness Month by NUS-Duke and others, and she hopes that more Singaporeans will participate in her campaign.
“The intention is to feature one child or young adult with Autism a day, hoping to raise awareness towards acceptance, better integration and a true celebration of humanity, in all its shades,” says Ms Iyer.
“I am really keen to have our local Singaporeans featured and it’s my small way of giving back for all the wonderful love, support and care we have received for our son when he was diagnosed with high functioning autism at 3.5 years.”
On the campaign, she says, “I believe we have to be active advocates of spreading awareness and acceptance and not really see ourselves as victims of a child with special needs.”
Autism is nothing to be ashamed of, says Ms Iyer.
“It gives many gifts and strengths and if we can open our minds to the differences, we are only strengthened.”
If you know anyone who lives with autism or if you’d like to support this admirable campaign, private message Ms Iyer at “Celebrating Autism this April“