+ April 2, 2008 Designated the First Autism Awareness Day by UN

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Autism is on the rise.  In the US, diagnoses have increased to 1 in 150 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Addressing the disorder as a global health issue, the General Assembly of the United Nations has designated April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day in perpetuity, beginning in 2008.

The Sundance Channel will present the US television premiere of Lauren Thierry’s documentary “Autism Every Day” on April 2, 2008.  The times are scheduled as 8 PM ET/PT.

This film, which debuted at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, documents a “typical” 24-hour day in the lives of eight families struggling to raise children with autism.

The film has met with virulent anger from some in the Autism community, for the footage of difficult moments, which is said to have been set-up and showcased.  Petitions are being signed.

Lauren Thierry is herself the mother of a child with autism.  In “Autism Every Day,” she shows the struggles parents of children with autism face every moment of the day.

She goes inside the homes of eight diverse families doing their best to cope with a perplexing disorder that completely dominates their lives.  “Autism Every Day” shows how developmental skills that most parents take for granted — a child’s ability to brush his teeth or communicate a need — can prove enormous hurdles for an autistic child.

Thierry feels the film captures the unconditional, powerful love these parents feel for their children and their determination to provide them with the best care possible.  Others, however, have read the message differently and feel the film paints a far too dark picture of living with autism. 

“Autism Every Day” was produced by Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest advocacy organization.

source: www.earthtimes.org on 2/13/08.

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