Gifts for World Autism Awareness Day
The 2nd of April 2022 is world autism awareness day, and I want to talk about how to be an amazing autism advocate. Because believe it or not, there are things you can do to help support your autistic friends and family members that go beyond just wearing a puzzle piece pin.
So, if you’re looking for ways to show your love and support on this special day, read on!
- Our story about World Autism Awareness Day
- What is autism?
- How autism spectrum disorder is treated
- How autism affects everyday life
- How autism affects the entire family
- Why World Autism Awareness Day?
- What Gifts for World Autism Awareness Day to think off?
- Share Gifts for World Autism Awareness Day
- National Days
Just have a read on the story below where Ashley and Charlotte got aware of World Autism Awareness Day.
Our story about World Autism Awareness Day
It was a Friday evening in March, and winter was gradually giving way to spring. As Ashley and Charlotte made their way down the sidewalk, pushing the strollers bearing their infant children, they saw the first splash of colour after a grey winter. The milder weather had brought out a host of golden daffodils, and they were fluttering and dancing in the evening breeze.
They brought a smile to Ashley’s face. She loved spring. Not that she hated winters because each season had its own merits, but spring she loved most of all. She loved the early morning birdsongs of spring and the frothy white flowers of the blackthorn tree.
The butterflies were not yet up and about, the way they would be in April. She couldn’t almost wait for April to come because it was a special month for her, one that she cherished above all else.
First, April was the midpoint of spring. She’d been a child who’d lived and grown up in the countryside, had been woken in April by the sounds of the cuckoo birds and fallen asleep to the guttural croaks of toads.
She’d also gotten married in April, and Nate, her special son, had been born the following April. He was her first baby, and there hadn’t seemed anything wrong with him at first. Signs that he was different from all other babies wouldn’t emerge until he was two. He didn’t play like other toddlers, wasn’t interested in all the other children at his daycare. He was visibly uncomfortable looking you in the eye, and you always had to say his name repeatedly before he responded. And he just couldn’t sit still.
Worried, she’d taken him to see his paediatrician when he turned two, and the paediatrician had referred them to specialists. He was diagnosed as being autistic. Ashley had suspected as much, but still, the diagnosis left her reeling.
As he grew older, there was a compendium of other signs. His language was delayed. He had unusual eating and sleeping habits, and he was fearless. He didn’t seem to know what fear meant, or he just didn’t care. He would put his pudgy little fingers into the fire if she let him.
Finding out that World Autism Awareness Day was also in April (April 2 to be exact) made April come full circle for her and made it even more special.
“Why are you smiling?” Charlotte asked her, pulling her coat tighter against her body. It was early spring, yes, but there was still a nip in the air.
“Can’t wait for April, for World Autism Awareness Day. We have to make it special for the boys this year, you know?”
Charlotte smiled back at her friend. She also had a son with autism. In fact, she and Ashley knew each other through the special education school their sons attended. They had met there three years prior, and because they were close in age and both had young families, they had struck up a friendship that had now extended beyond the school.
They both had new babies as well and often went shopping together. This evening, they were returning from a walk from the local grocery.
“Not just the boys this year, I think,” Charlotte said, “Their siblings as well.” What she didn’t say was that she was also thinking of getting a gift for Ashley. It wasn’t easy being a parent to a special needs child. She knew that from first-hand experience, and there were times she so desperately wanted someone to put their arms around her and hug her. She knew just how much she’d appreciate a meaningful gift on the awareness day. So, why not go ahead and get Ashley a special gift? The joy lighting up her friend’s eyes would surely make her happy.
Ashley stopped pushing her daughter’s stroller to adjust the strap of her purse. Her eyes filled with tears at how understanding Charlotte was.
Autism was not an easy diagnosis for anyone, not the child, not the siblings, and definitely not the parents. They all needed the love they could get.
What is autism?
Autism is a spectrum disorder involving complex disorders of brain development. Someone with autism is said to be autistic and may have difficulty with repetitive behaviours, social interaction, and verbal and nonverbal communication. An autistic person may also have an intellectual disability (not always) and may have difficulties in motor coordination and attention.
It is quite common for those on the autism spectrum to excel in various areas such as art, math, visual skills, and music.
The cause of autism is unknown, but doctors believe that it begins early in a child’s brain development, with the symptoms and signs typically emerging between two and three years of age.
Doctors check babies and toddlers for signs of autism each check-up visit. However, most autism diagnoses happen upon further evaluation after a parent complains of something being wrong with their child.
How autism spectrum disorder is treated
There is no cure for autism, but the treatment makes a lot of difference, and it is best to start treatment as soon as possible. Therapy allows autistic people to improve their social skills, learn a language, and do better in school.
Treatment programmes often include speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioural therapy, social skills, special education to help to learn, and sometimes medication.
How autism affects everyday life
ASD affects different people in different ways. People with severe cases might not be able to speak or learn and may often display behaviours that others consider strange. People with less severe ASD are often able to talk and learn but may have trouble expressing their feelings, understanding the feelings of others, and reading social cues.
They may also find it hard to handle sensory information (bright lights, loud noises, or crowds) and adjust to new routines.
How autism affects the entire family
Parents of autistic children may feel underprepared and overwhelmed. Apart from the challenge of everyday life that we all have to go through, now they have to make accommodations for the needs of a neurodivergent child. They may also have to work hard to obtain appropriate support for their child due to their location, availability of services, or financial situation. The financial impact of specialised education, psychotherapy, and medical support for autistic children also takes its toll on parents.
Research shows that parents (especially the primary caregiver) of autistic children experience more stress and fatigue than parents of children without ASD.
Siblings of autistic children are also affected because they often get less attention from their parents. Some siblings may feel resentment or frustration toward their autistic sibling (because he or she is taking all the attention). Yet, other siblings feel protective of their autistic sibling and are concerned about their welfare and that of their parents.
Why World Autism Awareness Day?
April 2 of every year, the United Nations celebrates World Autism Awareness Day to spread awareness about autism. The idea is to help the whole world understand and accept those suffering from ASD, support them, accommodate them, and spread kindness.
The official colour for World Autism Awareness Day is blue, and the official symbol of autism is the puzzle ribbon, which was universally adopted in 1999.
This year marks the 15th annual World Autism Awareness Day, and the UN has reiterated its commitment to creating a world where all people with autism can reach their full potential.
What Gifts for World Autism Awareness Day to think off?
Here are Amoware’s recommendations for gifts for World Autism Awareness Day:
Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps
Himalayan salt lamps are crystals carved from amber-coloured rock salt of the famous Himalayan mountains in Pakistan and are hollowed out so that you can fit a light bulb inside them. These salt lamps give out a warm, reddish-pink glow when lighted. Sometimes, the colour is white, apricot, or warm pink.
These beauties do much more than light up a room, though. They are also famed for boosting mood, easing allergies, helping people with asthma breathe better, cleaning the air, and improving sleep. These scientific benefits make them the perfect gift for an autistic child.
These awe-inspiring Himalayan salt lamps are specially carved to preserve the natural shape and structure of the rock and are used as home décor. They are fragile and give off a dim light.
Why we like it: Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps are not generic gifts. They are personal, personal gifts and speak of warmth, love, and care. And they create a healthy, peaceful atmosphere.
The Hand Made Woollen Shawls of Swat and Gilgit Baltistan
These shawls will make a fabulous gift for the parent, aunt/male or any other adult with an autistic child in their lives. Famous in and out of Pakistan, these beautiful shawls are made of fine thread and pashmina and make fabulous winter shawls.
The shawls are soft, delicate and have intricate handmade designs on them. Because the demand for them is great during the winter months, it is a fantastic idea to purchase one in March/April.
Why we like it: A handmade woollen Swat shawl is truly a labour of love. Thousands of artisans work hard to produce these luxurious shawls, bringing warmth and comfort to the wearer.
Acceptance is a Bahrainian painting designed by Ella Prakash. It is a beautiful tapestry of colours and shapes, but look closely enough, and you will be able to pick out some human shapes. The title of this painting, “acceptance”, is a very apt one because it is warm and engaging and invites you to take a second look.
Size: 48 W x 62 H x 0.2 D in
Why we like it: This painting is sure to liven up the walls of your recipient’s home or office.
Spring is Coming 3
Spring is Coming 3 is a drawing by Marijah Bac Cam, a French artist. The medium is ink on paper, and it is indeed an announcement of spring, with its green, white and black predominant colours. It is a perfect gift for World Autism Awareness Day because it fans hope and keeps it alive.
Size: 11.8 W x 15.7 H x 0 D in
Medium: ink on paper
Why we like it: It is simple, yet elegant. It also evokes warmth, making it ideal as a World Autism Awareness Day gift.
Autism Awareness No. 13, Sensory seeking
Autism Awareness No. 13, Sensory Seeking is a painting by Danielle Rosaria, an American painter. This is a unique work of art for an autistic person. Besides brushes, the painter used a rock, a leaf, a tropical flower, a rose, a feather and her fingers to create the painting. The idea is for autistic people to not only see the beauty of the painting but also to feel it. This is a great gift that gives autistic persons a sense of calm and meets their sensory needs.
Medium: Painting – Acrylic On Canvas
Why we like it: This painting depicts wonderful use of colour and texture that provides intense visual stimulation.
Share Gifts for World Autism Awareness Day
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one per cent of the world’s population lives with an autism spectrum disorder. That is well over 75,000,000 people.
People with autism are a part of our world. They matter, and the issues that concern them also matter. We ask that you share World Autism Awareness Day with your friends and families so that we can all be more accommodating towards autistic people.
Just like World Autism Awareness Day, there are many other national and international days, some you know, some you might not know but it is always to keep a keen eye on all these days, it might benefit you or friend giving something on a not expected day that we can celebrate worldwide.