Submitted by county_ys on

World Autism Awareness Day was created by the United Nations in 2007 as a way to recognize people on the autism spectrum. Each year on April 2, organizations from all over the globe come together to aid in research, advocacy and acceptance of autism. There are plenty of achievements within the autistic community to inspire us today; here are just a few:

  • Dan Aykroyd credits his diagnosis with helping him create one of the most iconic movies ever! After becoming obsessed with ghost hunting and law enforcement, he thought up the idea for Ghostbusters.
  • Understanding her ASD helped Susan Boyle find the confidence to become an international singing sensation.
  • Satoshi Tajiri, who has Asperger’s, created the Pokémon franchise by combining his love of Nintendo Game Boy and his hobby of insect collecting.
  • NCAA basketball player Anthony Ianni, champion surfer Clay Marzo and many others prove that autism is no impediment to a great athletic career.
  • Nobel Prize-winner Dr. Vernon Smith invented experimental economics. He considers autism to be his superpower, allowing him to see things differently and solve problems in a new way.
  • And of course, there’s Dr. Temple Grandin, whose expertise on animal behavior helped transform the agriculture industry, and who was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

For us, it’s the perfect time to celebrate neurodiversity within our families, friend groups, workplaces, schools and communities. Kids can get involved too! Check out some of these books featuring autistic themes and characters.