Of all the diseases of today, the one with the highest growth rate is autism, this neurodevelopmental disorder. A study of the US Education Department reveals the numbers: in ten years, autism cases have increased by 657%. According to a study from 2014, one out of 68 Belgians is affected. The British neurologist Natasha Campbell predicts that this disorder will affect one in two in 2050.
What do you know about autism? Perhaps, do you remember the 1989 movie Rain Man. A man (Tom Cruise) lost sight of his brother. When he found him back after years, he discovers that his brother (Dustin Hoffman) is suffering from autism – that means in that case: extraordinary abilities, but Tom Cruise does not perceive any emotion from him.
People with autism sometimes have a disturbing behavior: flapping, shouting, biting, swinging of the body … Autism experts agree that with autism, there are probably as many forms as there are autistic people.
In Brussels, the association “Autism in Action” looks at autistic people and their families. This NGO aims to create bridges between them and those not directly involved. For several years, on the occasion of the World Autism Awareness Day, they are organising an event for the families concerned and the general public. After the success of last year – more than 2000 people participated – this years event will take place as well in the Bois de la Cambre.
According to the organisers, this event will be “festive, fun, family-oriented, artistic and informative with the objective not only to raise awareness and enlighten the public on autism and its complexity, but also to promote inclusion and highlighting the talents of people with autism – all in the spirit of “better living together” and of respect for difference”.
The name of the event will be “Opération Chaussettes Bleus”: as during the three previous editions, clotheslines will be stretched all over, so that the public can hang hundreds of blue socks (the color of autism).
In case you will pass by on Saturday, 31 March, between 11.00 and 18.30 in the Bois de la Cambre (Carrefour des Attelages), you will have the possibility to meet representatives from some 20 NGOs involved and university researchers, have a drink and something to eat (wine tasting and local products) and to network. There will be several activities from a make-up workshop to a relaxation, well-being booth and initiation to yoga. It will be as well possible to listen to several concerts (MIC.OWL, Lou Boland, Innov8te, Indigo Mango, BridgeNation). The day will end with a Jam Session from 18.00 to 18:30.