Autism Campaigners in the United States of America and around the world are calling on President Elect Barack Obama to to speak out on Autism Sunday – the International Day of Prayer for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome which falls on 8th February 2009. President Elect Obama takes over the Office of the President of the United States in January. Autism Sunday would be the first international date in connection with the serious educational health issues concerning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. Many parents, carers and people with autism are struggling to cope with life. In some countries in Africa and Asia there are hardly any public services.
Cathedrals, churches and religious organisations have been urged to observe Autism Sunday 2009 to pray for over 60 million people with autism. 1 in 150 children in the United States are on the autism spectrum. President Elect Obama has been urged to spell out his plans for autism on Autism Sunday 2009.
Autism Sunday was launched in 2002 in the United Kingdom by parents and carers Ivan and Charika Corea – they have a son with autism spectrum disorder. A historic service was held at St.Paul’s Cathedral in 2002 to mark Autism Sunday. Since then churches and religious groups around the world have been marking the International Day of Prayer for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.
Ivan Corea, Co-Founder of Autism Sunday, appealed to President Elect Barack Obama to speak out on Autism Sunday 2009. ‘We are urging world leaders and church leaders to speak out on autism on Autism Sunday. This is an opportunity for parents, carers and people with autism to campaign on the serious issues concerning autism. Many families with autism are suffering as a result of the economic downturn and the global recession. Many are in winter fuel poverty. They have to decide between heating and eating. Even in the United States and in the United Kingdom, homes belonging to families with autism have been re-possessed by banks. We call on world leaders including President Elect Barack Obama to speak out on autism.
A US based website Aspie Web.Net Blog has offered prayer suggestions for religious organisations in America – in support of Autism Sunday 2009. They include prayer ideas for the United States and Autism in general:
* Please pray that the Obama administration seek the advice of Autistic Individuals when developing strategies on Autism.
* Please pray that insurance companies be forced to cover scientifically proven therapies.
* Please pray for growing communication between Autism Self-Advocates and lawmakers.
* Please pray that needs of Autistic Individuals can be met in the slow economy.
* Please pray that lies that are harming the autistic community be squashed.
* Please pray for acceptance of the Autistic Community in the church, community, by employers, educational institutions and wherever they may go.
Photograph of President Elect Barack Obama courtesy of the The Obama-Biden Transition Project.