World Autism Awareness Day - Sunday April 2

Honoring people with autism
Posted at 1:39 PM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 13:39:20-04

Sunday is "World Autism Awareness Day" a time to raise understanding and awareness for people living with autism. Click the video player for JoAnne Purtan's interview with an expert on the topic, and read below for the special event happening in Novi.

Centria Health Care says an estimated 1 in 45 children in the United States are on the autism spectrum - A 1,000 percent increase in the past 40 years. The group says  that is partly explained by improved diagnosis and greater awareness.

Centria also says more than 3.5 millon Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder.

Here are some facts about autism according to Centria Health:

Early Detection

  • Early, intensive therapy has proven to be the most effective
  • Early screening is key - early identification of traits associated with autism
  • As early as 4-5 months of age, children become responsive to social stimuli and start to understand facial expressions of emotion.  
    • This becomes the foundation of play and other forms of social interaction with caregivers.

About Autism Activity Day. World Autism Month kicks off this weekend (Sunday April 2).  Event in Novi This Weekend

The driving force behind Autism Activity Days, is to provide a safe and structured event for children with an ASD to enjoy being who they are and have fun with their brothers and sisters and parents.  

    • To do this and to help increase the understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder overall, Centria plans events throughout the year — We really don’t wait for a specific day. 
    • So we organize 6 activity days throughout the year and throughout the state. This includes activities day and movies, in addition to a special needs Santa for the holidays.
    • This weekend, at Emagine Theaters in Novi, we will be showing Boss Baby in a theater dedicated to children and families living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. That starts at 10:30 am and in Grand Rapids we are hosting a Super Heroes Activity Day on Sunday. 



  • For more information on knowing the signs if your child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder and to see where some events are near you, visit