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Thorold City Hall goes blue for World Autism Awareness Day

There are approximately 7,200 people with autism in the region; 'Social and community support can help those with autism achieve optimal health to reach their full potential'

April 2 marks World Autism Awareness Day and City Hall turned blue for the occasion. 

On Tuesday morning, a flag raising ceremony was held that brought together representatives of Bethesda and Autism Ontario, as well City Hall staff.

“The City of Thorold is proud to celebrate the spectrum and fly the flag to raise awareness about autism,” Mayor Terry Ugulini told the crowd.  “Social and community support can help those with autism achieve optimal health to reach their full potential."

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition impacting an individual's communication and social interaction skills, as well as their perception of the world. It can influence body language, social relationships, engagement with interests, and sensory processing abilities.

“By wearing blue, we demonstrate our commitment to fostering an inclusive society where individuals with autism are valued and embraced for their unique abilities,” said Bethesda CEO Paul McGowan, in a press release.

Current statistics from the Canadian Medical Association Journal estimate that 1 to 2 per cent of the population has autism, meaning there are nearly 573,000 people in Canada and 135,000 in Ontario.

“There is approximately 7,200 people with autism in the Region,” McGowan tells ThoroldToday. “Just building awareness and a more inclusive society, at Bethesda that’s one of our core values.”

Bethesda’s Niagara Family Centre in Thorold, provides services and support for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder via the Ontario Autism Program and other professional services.

Mayor Ugulini stresses the importance of the City supporting organizations such as Bethesda.

“We consider the City of Thorold a warm, welcoming and an inclusive community,” he tells ThoroldToday. “By working together with Bethesda and all the groups in Niagara our goal is not only to raise awareness but also to bring this in front of government so that we can increase funding for programming.”

This evening Thorold City Hall will light up blue in honour of World Autism Awareness Day.

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Bernard Lansbergen

About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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