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Wednesday, 2 April 2014: World Autism Awareness Day

04/01/2014 - 02:30 PM

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Wednesday, 2 April 2014 is World Autism Awareness Day with a busy calendar of events in every city in the world. 
On Tuesday, 1 April, the façade of Montecitorio Palace (seat of the Italian parliament) will be bathed in a blue light from 8.00 p.m. until sunrise on the following day, as a sign of support for the campaign. The initiative, which for several years has involved monuments and buildings across the world being lit by a blue light, is intended to highlight the subsequent World Autism Awareness Day established by the UN in 2007.
On 2 April, a conference will take place at the Bambin Gesù Children's Hospital in Rome and at Piazza di Siena a cavalcade is planned for autistic children. In the evening, at 9.00 p.m., at the same time as the event organised at the United Nations building in New York, a grand soirée will take place at the Del Massimo Auditorium, filled with music and excitement, including a projection of the documentary film on autism Ocho pasos adelante (Eight Steps Forward), filmed in Argentina by young Italian director Selene Colombo, and a concert by a selected and diverse group of artists.

The Telecom Italia Foundation expresses its commitment to families coexisting with autism through three dedicated projects: SI DO RE MI, Allert and La Tecnologia fa Breccia.

Autism is an early-onset chronic central nervous system development disorder that results in a complex social, communicative and behavioural disability. There are no official estimates in Europe, but data consistently reported by epidemiological studies, both in Europe and the USA, show a generalised increase in diagnoses of autism and related disorders, which have more than doubled in the past ten years. In Italy, between 550 and 600 thousand families are estimated to be coexisting with this disorder. On average, it takes two years for a definite diagnosis of autism to be made from the moment parents begin their investigation. Early diagnosis of this condition, which is the main theme of Ocho pasos adelante can make a difference.