Monday, April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), a day dedicated to raising public awareness by recognizing those individuals around the globe living with Autism Spectrum Disorder including our own family members, friends, neighbours, classmates and colleagues.
This year, World Autism Awareness Day occurs on Easter Monday. Students and staff of the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board are invited to participate in a system-wide “Prayer for Autism” on Tuesday, April 3. Schools across the system are also invited to show support via assemblies, civvies days i.e. wearing Blue for Autism, colouring contests, etc.
In addition to school activities, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board has partnered with Autism Ontario and other community organizations to host a World Autism Awareness Day Family Carnival on Saturday, April 7, 2018 (see attached flyer for details).
When speaking to families affected by autism, Pope Francis said, “Everyone should be committed to promoting acceptance…and solidarity through concrete support and by encouraging renewed hope.”
A Prayer of St. Francis for Autism
by Tim Tucker
Lord, let thy peace fill me up until I overflow;
that where people cannot speak, I may be their advocate;
that where anyone is rejected, I may extend my arms in welcome;
that where parents are heavy burdened, I may offer a word of comfort;
that where our children struggle, I may lift them up and cheer;
that where some see disability, I may reveal to them extraordinary gifts;
that where others judge, I may share with them my deep gladness;
and that where any are overlooked, I may help the lights of all to shine.
O Giver of These Gifts,
grant that I may not so much seek to be reassured as to reassure;
to be praised, as to praise;
to be accepted, as to accept;
for it is in all our uncertainty that we are inspired to hope;
it is in great challenges that we discover our greatest joys,
and it is in our community of wanderers that we find the way home.