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3rd Annual Autism Awareness Event Brings Imperial County Community Together

 -Editorial

The local organization Autism Support of Imperial County (ASIC or AIC) hosted its 3rd Annual Autism Awareness F.A.I.R. (Fun, Awareness, Information, and Recreation) at Eager Park on April 6, 2024, from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. 

The event, organized in collaboration with the Department of Parks and Recreation, aimed to promote understanding, support, and inclusion for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. One of the highlights of this year’s event was the addition of a 5k Fun Run, providing participants with an opportunity to engage in physical activity while supporting a noble cause. 

Runners and walkers alike joined hands to raise awareness and funds for autism support initiatives in Imperial County. ASIC, a local non-profit organization, has been steadfast in its mission to provide information, support, and resources to parents and professionals dealing with autism. 

Founded by parents and community members, the organization hosts monthly support group meetings where families can share experiences, seek advice, and forge meaningful connections with others facing similar challenges.

All the cities in Imperial County passed a resolution at their city council meetings that further created awareness about this spectrum and promoted the resources available to parents who need support for their children. 

As an annual presentation regarding Autism Awareness a proclamation declaring the month of April 2024 as “Autism Awareness Month” and April 2, 2024 as “World Autism Awareness Day” was requested to the Calexico City Council.  In addition, it is being requested that the City of Calexico participate along with all cities in the “Light It Up Blue” effort by lighting up city office buildings with blue lights for April.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a diverse group of conditions. They are characterized by some degree of difficulty with social interaction and communication. Other characteristics are atypical patterns of activities and behaviors, such as difficulty with transition from one activity to another, a focus on details, and unusual reactions to sensations

It is estimated that worldwide about 1 in 100 children has autism. This estimate represents an average figure and reported prevalence varies substantially across studies. Some well-controlled studies have, however, reported substantially higher figures. The prevalence of autism in many low- and middle-income countries is unknown.

Autism, a spectrum disorder, manifests differently in each individual, with a unique blend of strengths and challenges. Some individuals with autism may require substantial support in their daily lives, while others lead more independent lifestyles. The organization strives to cater to the diverse needs of individuals with ASD and their families, offering a range of services and support tailored to their requirements.

The event coincided with World Autism Awareness Day, recognized internationally on April 2nd each year. While the day serves as an opportunity to promote understanding and acceptance of autism, some advocacy groups, such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, advocate for the term “Autism Acceptance” instead of “Awareness,” emphasizing the importance of embracing neurodiversity and combating stigma. As the sun set on Eager Park, participants departed with a renewed sense of community and purpose, inspired by the spirit of inclusivity and solidarity that permeated the event. 

The 3rd Annual Autism F.A.I.R. served as a reminder that, together, society can create a more compassionate and inclusive world for individuals with autism. For more information about Autism Support of Imperial County and upcoming events, please visit autismofimperial.com.

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