April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), a day dedicated to raising public awareness by recognizing individuals around the globe living with Autism Spectrum Disorder including our own family members, friends, neighbours, classmates and colleagues.
According to Autism Ontario, autism touches more than 70-million people. Approximately 1 in 66 children and youth are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Canada and this number continues to grow.
Because WAAD falls this year on a Saturday, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School will celebrate the day on Friday, April 1, 2022.
Acknowledging the hurdles that people with autism and others who live with autism face every day, Pope Francis said, “Everyone should be committed to promoting acceptance…and solidarity through concrete support and by encouraging renewed hope.”
On April 1, we wear blue in recognition and support of people living with autism.
A Prayer of St. Francis for Autism
By Tim Tucker
Lord, let thy peace fill me up until I overflow;
that where people cannot speak, I may be their advocate;
that where anyone is rejected, I may extend my arms in welcome;
that where parents are heavy burdened, I may offer a word of comfort;
that where our children struggle, I may lift them up and cheer;
that where some see disability, I may reveal to them extraordinary gifts;
that where others judge, I may share with them my deep gladness;
and that where any are overlooked, I may help the lights of all to shine.
O Giver of These Gifts,
grant that I may not so much seek to be reassured as to reassure;
to be praised, as to praise;to be accepted, as to accept;
for it is in all our uncertainty that we are inspired to hope;
it is in great challenges that we discover our greatest joys,
and it is in our community of wanderers that we find the way home.