Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development, issued the following statement today for World Autism Awareness Day, April 2:
“In recognition of World Autism Awareness Day, the Government of British Columbia is proud to reaffirm our commitment to those who live on the autism spectrum, as well as the advocates, family members and professionals who support and learn from them each day.
“Today we celebrate the countless ways they enrich our province by also proclaiming April as Autism Awareness Month in B.C.
“In British Columbia, more than 11,700 children and youth are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). World Autism Awareness Day is an opportunity to increase awareness of the services and programs that help support B.C. families whose lives are brightened every day by children on the autism spectrum.
“As diagnosis, knowledge and understanding of ASD has increased, so too has B.C.’s investment in supportive services. Today, government provides more than $285 million annually for services that support children and youth with ASD and their families, including assessments, early intervention planning and education for students throughout B.C.
“When all citizens are supported in their unique needs, we create communities that are full of compassion and free of barriers to inclusion. World Autism Awareness Day gives those with autism a chance to see their communities standing behind them in support — and that can make a world of difference in their lives. Join me in raising awareness of autism by wearing blue in honour of the positive impacts those with ASD have in our communities and the world.”