Today has been World Autism Awareness Day, and Kim Stagliano despises it. The mother of three autistic daughters, she finds the “feel-good frippery” and air of festivity around the globe — with the rallies, events, balloons, and everything in blue (even the Eiffel Tower) — suggests a party rather than a crisis.
Good intentions aren’t in question: Autism Speaks talks about World Autism Awareness Day as an event that “celebrates the unique talents and skills of persons with autism.” Yet Stagliano bristles at the jovial tone of April (Autism Awareness Month), and the suggestion that “the circumstances of my daughters’ existences are to be celebrated. For me, this should be a month of solemn acknowledgement and education about a global crisis.”
Stagliano points out the sharp rise in autism over the past decade, and notes MIT scientist Stephanie Seneff’s prediction that by 2025, half of all children will be born with autism.