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April first doesn’t just mark a day of jokes, it kicks off the start of World Autism Month.

Over 5 million American adults live with autism spectrum disorder, according to a 2020 report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Around 1 in 44 children have the disorder, the CDC announced in 2021. While there is no cure for autism, acknowledging symptoms and diagnosing individuals at a young age is crucial, as it is a developmental disability that affects communication.

April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. Propelled by Autism Speaks, the largest autism research organization in the United States, businesses and people alike are encouraged to wear, decorate with, and post the color blue on the day as part of their Light It Up Blue initiative. 

While wearing the calming tone serves as a reminder of the disability’s commonality, the best way to support the autistic community is by getting involved. 

1ST ANNUAL COMMUNITY STRIDES FOR AUTISM PRIDE

The 1st Annual Community Strides for Autism Pride Event will be held at Mount Sinai High School, 110 North Country Rd., Mount Sinai. The event will host vendors, food trucks, crafts, prizes, entertainment, and a super giant slide for kids. The money raised will help fund special needs programs across Long Island. mountsinaisepto.com $10-15. Noon-4 p.m. April 3.

SENSORY-FRIENDLY BUNNY MEET-AND-GREET

As Easter approaches, meet the Easter Bunny in a celebration just for special needs children. Walt Whitman Shops, 160 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station, waltwhitmanshopscaringbunnyphoto.splashthat.com 9:30-11 a.m. April 3.

INCLUSIVE QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL

Attend this virtual panel hosted by the United Nations. Learn about the fight toward equitable education for people around the world, especially as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic impacts teaching and learning. Register at un.org/en/observances/autism-day 10 a.m. April 8.

JIGSAW 4 MILE RUN/WALK FOR AUTISM

Help fight the mystery of what causes autism spectrum disorder by participating in this fundraiser event with The John McGorry Irish Mile. Afterparty to be held at Jackson Hall in East Islip. Race starts at East Islip Marina, 333 Bayview Ave., East Islip,  ejautismfoundation.org 9:30 a.m. April 24.

NCMA AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH CELEBRATION 

The Nassau County Museum of Art will open its historic doors for a day of performances, scavenger hunts, and art making.  Nassau County Museum of Art, 1 Museum Dr, Roslyn, nassaumuseum.org 9 a.m.-3 p.m. April 30. 

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