Franklin Academy

9th Annual World Autism Awareness Day

April 2, 2017

9th Annual World Autism Awareness Day

Although this is a cooking and gardening blog, today I am writing in support of the 9th Annual World Autism Awareness Day. For the past twelve years, I have worked as a Learning Specialist at Franklin Academy in East Haddam, CT. Franklin Academy is a private college prep school that serves bright students with learning differences and diagnoses such as Autism. My students are amazing, and I am lucky to work with them. To learn more about Franklin Academy, check out the following link:

9th Annual World Autism Awareness Day
Franklin Academy, East Haddam CT

What is Autism?

World Autism Awareness Day takes place on April 2nd. This day is recognized by the United Nations. The UN members are encouraged to take steps to raise awareness of autism. According to, “Autism is a neurological condition characterized by its unique social interactions, non-standard ways of learning, keen interests in specific subjects, inclination to routines, challenges in typical communications and particular ways of processing sensory information.”

Autism Prevalence

So, how common is Autism? According to the CDC, in the United States Autism has been identified in 1 in 68 children and occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Further, the CDC reports that 1% of the world population has Autism. Lastly, it is reported in boys 4.5 times as often than in girls.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no medical test to diagnose Autism. Instead, Autism is diagnosed through a diagnostic evaluation that is often performed by a psychologist or a multi-disciplinary team. The evaluation will examine the child’s behavior and development through direct observations, interviews, and record reviews.

Some children are diagnosed very young. However, otters are diagnosed much later. In fact, some people are diagnosed well into their adulthood. Although Autism is not something can be cured, early intervention is highly beneficial. With appropriate support and accommodation people on the Autism Spectrum live more rewarding lives.

How You Can Help

You can make a difference in the lives of those with Autism. Here are some ideas:

  • Wear an autism awareness ribbon
  • Join local events like walks or races
  • Donate to credible organizations
  • Provide job opportunities
  • Volunteer
  • Advocate

To learn more about how to make a difference, please check out the following links:



Gina Ritchie



The autism awareness graphic comes from the following link:





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  1. Aww, this is such an enlightening post. There are so many things, I did not know about autism. You are such an amazing person for the service you offer the students!

  2. Thanks for sharing!! Autism affected kids have always had a special place in my heart (my mom was a para), so it’s very cool to even know you work at Franklin Academy! I didn’t know that existed but fully support what you do from afar!!

  3. I have several Mama friends that has children on the spectrum and while many may be aware it seems Autism and the support services for those dealing with it are under threat of being defunded. This is why even though many may know of it, it is important to keep pushing and advocating!

  4. More often than not, when I mention I work with students on the spectrum the person I am talking to shares that they know someone on the spectrum. They also share that they could have benefited from more services.

  5. As the parent of a child who I believe is on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, it warms my heart to see things like this happening around the world. My daughter struggles mightily with social skills and anxiety, and I love knowing that all over the world, people are trying to learn how to better understand her. She tries so hard to fit in, and in most ways, she does – but it’s good to know that so much of the rest of the world is willing to meet her in the middle.

  6. Thanks for speaking out about such an important issue and getting other people involved. One of my best friends brothers was autistic and it can be difficult on the family. But those kids can also be amazing and we should love on them the best we can.

  7. Autism seems much more common these days, or maybe it is finally being diagnosed properly. Do you know if they have determined what causes it?

  8. My son is on the spectrum and I am so thrilled that there is a day dedicated to this. It’s great that more and more people are aware of this issue.

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  10. Thank you so much for raising awareness for autism! I had no idea that 1% of the world’s population has autism, with boys having it over 4 times more than girls. Those numbers are shocking, to say the least.

  11. A few of my friends have children with autism – this is a great cause to stand behind, and thank you for raising awareness!

  12. This is one condition that we don’t talk about often and most of the time people are embarrassed or ashamed when a family member has autism, which is the exact opposite of what we should be doing which is to show that member some support and love. This is such a nice program, it’s good to help raise awareness.

  13. Great post!! My daughter is high functioning autistic so I appreciate you driving awareness!!!

  14. I know a few people who have autistic family members. Many people are under the misconception that they can not function in society. When really a lot of them can and are great contributers.

  15. I love supporting this cause I try to make sure I help out when I can and when they have events in our area we are always helping out.

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