World Autism Awareness Day – April 2, 2019
Today is World Autism Awareness Day, a day when we come together to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD affects an estimated 1 in 66 Canadian children and youth aged 5-17 and can have significant and lifelong impacts on individuals living with the disorder, as well as their families and caregivers.
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting those living with disabilities, including ASD. Last year, we announced support for the Autism-Intellectual-Developmental Disabilities National Resource and Exchange Network (AIDE), which will provide Canadians across the country with evidence-based information, services, employment opportunities and local programming. This national database will house a range of credible resources and tools for individuals and families.
Earlier today, we announced support for the first wave of projects that will be funded through the ASD Strategic Fund. This fund supports innovative community-based projects that provide opportunities for Canadians living with autism and their families and caregivers to gain knowledge, access resources and develop skills that can help them address the challenges of ASD.
We also want to ensure that our investments are grounded in evidence. That is why the Government is proud to support autism research through groups such as the CHILD-BRIGHT Network. CHILD-BRIGHT is a pan-Canadian network of researchers who investigate new diagnostic tests, therapies and technologies. They work to get evidence into the hands of knowledge users to achieve brighter futures for children with brain-based developmental disabilities like ASD, and their families and caregivers.
The needs of Canadians living with and affected by ASD are complex and diverse. With the correct information, compassion and support, Canadians living with ASD will be able to reach their full potential and have the quality of life they deserve.
On World Autism Awareness Day, I encourage everyone to learn more about ASD and discover how we all can make a difference in the lives of those living with this condition.
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health
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