Ways to Take Action on World Autism Awareness Day

Photo: (MTV)

Photo: World Of Jenks’ stars Andrew Jenks and Chad.  (MTV)

Today, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day, and Autism Speaks is asking you to help “shine a light” on the disorder.

But first, here’s what you need to know about autism. Autism and autism spectrum disorder are general terms for “a group of complex disorders of brain development.” These disorders are characterized by “difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.”

So how does autism affect children in the US? Statistics show an estimate of 1 in 88 American children is on the autism spectrum. The disorder is “four to five times more common among boys than girls.”

You can wear blue today (just like our boy Andrew Jenks) to show your support or Tweet with hashtags like #WAAD (World Autism Awareness Day) or #LIUB (Light It Up Blue).  Speaking of Jenks, you can also watch his Ustream today at 7/6c. Make sure to use the hashtag  #JenksAndChadLive if you’re tuning in! Here are four more ways you can take action on World Autism Awareness Day:

+ Do Your Homework

Before you can shine a light on autism, you need to know what it is. You can find resources on the Autism Speaks website that will tell you more about the disorder.

+ The 100 Day Kit

If you know someone with a loved one who has just been diagnosed with autism, send them the 100 Day Kit. The kit is designed to help “newly diagnosed families to make the best possible use of the 100 days following their child’s diagnosis of autism or AS/HFA.” You can download the kit for free here.

+ Shop with Sevenly

This week Sevenly has partnered with Autism Speaks to sell some pretty special t-shirts. The shirts are exclusive to the site, so get one while you can! For every shirt you buy, Sevenly will donate $7 to Autism Speaks.

+ Watch “World of Jenks”

Chad has our heart, guys; it’s that simple. If you’re wondering what this fan favorite, who is living with autism, is up to, look no further. You can catch up on this season’s episodes of “World of Jenks” to see what Chad and Jenks have been up to here. Tune in to new episodes every Monday night at 11/10c.

How will you shine a light on autism today? If you need more ideas, check out the action widget below!

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Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks

Find resources for living with those living with autism.

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Help WEC

Help WEC

Help Chad’s school, the Westchester Exceptional Children’s School, by donating here.