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March 31st, 2008
08:54 PM ET

World Autism Day

More than 25,000 kids in the U.S. will be diagnosed with autism this year - that's more than the number of pediatric cases of diabetes, AIDS and cancer combined! It's part of the reason why the United Nations has declared April 2nd the first ever World Autism Awareness Day. On Wednesday, CNN will devote a whole day of special, multiplatform programming to report on the impact and latest science concerning the developmental syndrome of autism.

If you know someone who is autistic, what would you want the world to know about autism and how it impacts people's lives? You can respond here, or if you’d like, you can send us an iReport.

Lisa Porterfield, Curriculum Development Manager


Filed under: News Coverage
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Devin

    I have been around a few autisic kids. I don't really think of them haveing a mental problem, but more of a different veiw on things. Also I think that there are different classifications of Austism.

    April 1, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  2. :)

    I wonder how they think.

    April 2, 2008 at 7:47 am |
  3. Alice

    Parents who have autistic children must have gone through a very hard time! And......is autism common in the past?Did people in the past have autism? So many questions.....!!!

    April 2, 2008 at 7:55 am |
  4. Austin

    I think world autisum day is something we should notice autisum as a diseease I mean no offense to kids with autisum I send a prayer for to be alright but people with out it must be aware we need to help. But also be percausis

    April 2, 2008 at 9:26 am |
  5. Sara

    I'm really glad they have designated today to be an Awareness Day for Autism. It definitely needs to be talked about and people need to be aware of this syndrom. I've seen specials on Asbergers and Autism and have come to realize that they are smart and intelligent people like me. They are just trapped in a body that works differently than mine. But, that is no reason to bully them or discriminate against them. They are people.

    April 2, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  6. Joshua

    I can understand what autism feels like because I'm autistic. My mom did'nt see the signs untill I was three. I had some social problems and disabilites then but now the signs are fading away. I still have a certain view on things like when I play with toys and paper and so on. I really don't think there's anything wrong with being autistic.

    April 2, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  7. zach

    I have known many people with autsm in my life. It is the most painful thing I have ever seen. When you lookat people with autism it really pains me to know that they have to live like that all the time and to no fault of their own. I mean most of us live normal lives and take it for granted and here these people are just yeh you know what I mean. Its just sad and really unfair.

    April 2, 2008 at 9:23 pm |
  8. Jennifer

    My oldest daughter Rhiannon is Autistic. She was diagnosed 2 years ago. I deal with the realities of Autism on a daily basis. All I can say about World Autism Day is its about time. Thankyou for finally paying enough attention to our children. Lets fight and find a cure together because Autism can strike anyone, anywhere, anytime.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  9. :)

    I agree with you,Joshua!I believe autistic people can still do many things,like I know a book which is wrote by an autistic person!

    April 3, 2008 at 7:46 am |
  10. Garrett

    i have kids at my school that i think that have autism. i feel kind of sorry for them that they can`t get rid of.

    April 3, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  11. Jess

    I grew up around Autism, my brother was diagnosed a long time ago with terrets, aspergers, and autism. It is sometimes really difficult to have a brother who is two years older than me (18) and sometimes feel like the older sibling. My brother looks up to me alot. Because of his autism he doesnt really fit in at school because socially he doesnt know how to 'fit in' so he just tries to dissappear. I know for my brother at least being autistic is hard. He feels like my life is perfect because i have friends and can "fit in." It just really frustrates me when people make jokes about kids with terrets or with autism and making those types of jokes in my school is common. I think the awarness that the effect this diagnoses has on families and individuals has a big impact on how you view other people. I think being aware that people are different than you helps you to be more accepting to other things and area's in your life. Thank you CNN for focusing on this topic. There are not a whole lot of chances for people to talk about these subjects anywhere so being able to express how this affects our lives is so helpful!!!

    April 4, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  12. Melinda

    I have a 5 1/2 year old son with autism. I never thought it would happen to my son, but it has and I'm fighting it with everything I've got. We are using the DAN protocol (a biomedical approach- we found out he has a myriad of food allergies, yeast overgrowth and mercury and lead poisoning) and seeing amazing results. What people need to realize is that autism is a biological disorder and that autistic kids are not stupid! People tend to talk down to my son rather than treat him like other 5 year old kids. My husband and I have the same expectations of our son as we do our two "normal" daughters. And we have every confidence that he will be healed... but only if people quit looking at autism as a mystery and look at it like cancer and FIGHT IT!!!

    April 4, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  13. GLORIA

    I'm a mother of 2 autistic kids and I would like to say thanks so much for these wonderful insight and stories of real families . with this real situation.

    May God bless you for looking into the life of families who will probably only get the attention one month a year . But I only pray that your information will help to uncover that our kids aren't mental or stupid . They are special and in the case of my 6 year old daugther who has asperger syndrome GIFTED!!!! .

    Blessings

    April 5, 2008 at 1:46 am |
  14. amanda

    hi, um i have a brother with autism. i just want everyone to know that they are the same as everyone else. yeah they might do things that you wouldn't do. like stare at cieling fans or be very shy and not social. if you get to know a person with autism then you will see that they are cool. i've learned to be greatful for what i have and who i am. so don't joke about autism or make fun of people with disabilitys. they are just like you and me in the end. thanks for sharing and making people more aware about autism. it has taught me even more than i had already knew.

    April 5, 2008 at 12:59 pm |
  15. frootie

    this is such a wonderful day because i have a brother that is autistic and trust me its not easy. some people should believe in this day especially peolple who make fun of autistic kids.

    April 8, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  16. Brooke

    People should start be more cautious and protective about things like that.

    April 9, 2008 at 8:20 pm |
  17. thatcavalierfan

    dude, (you might have noticed i start all my posts with that) all i have to say is, thats totally awseome! you GO autistic peeps! knock em' dead! (not quite literally, but, ya know what i mean...) 🙂 lol!

    April 9, 2008 at 11:59 pm |
  18. Krystle

    My brother was diagnosed in 2003 with Autism and trust me it is not easy living with him sometimes. It is like a pet it just grows on you. My brother goes to school and has an aid that helps him. If things get messed up some how he will have a temper tantrum and some people wonder why but we just let him be and let life go on because he will get over it. I love him so much but he is not going to change so I've got to get used to it and I have.

    May 1, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  19. sdavis11

    im so glad that they have a autism day. my niece has autism and it is very,very hard to deal with. but they are still great people

    June 3, 2008 at 12:45 pm |
  20. Judith

    I am a 32 year old woman from Holland and will get my diagnose next week. Asperger's runs in the family, so I wouldn't be surprised if I have it too. But: you don't have to feel sorry for autists!! I have never felt sorry for myself and just want everyone else not to treat me differently. Maybe just a bit directer, since I can't read between the lines 🙂 If I had the choice, I wouldn't want to change! taking away my autism would be like taking away my personality.
    I wish every autist good luck and encourage them not to give up! Just discover your strong points and dazzle everyone else with it!

    April 2, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  21. cecilia and rylee

    i feel horrible, i have seen kids like that and my friends just make fun of them,we help the cause but were wondering is there anything else we can do.we do the best we can and hope for the better and a cure of autism.

    December 11, 2009 at 9:46 pm |