- The theme for 2017 is "Toward Autonomy and Self-Determination"
- World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognised day on the 2nd of April every year, encouraging Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about people with autism throughout the world.
- It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution "(A/RES/62/139). World Autism Awareness Day", passed in council on November 1, 2007, and adopted on December 18, 2007.
- It was proposed by the United Nations representative from Qatar, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Consort of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, and supported by all member states.
- Resolution (A/RES/62/139) was passed and adopted without a vote in the UN General Assembly, mainly as a supplement to previous UN initiatives to improve human rights. The original resolution had four main components:
- the establishment of the 2nd day of April as World Autism Awareness Day, beginning in 2008
- invitation to Member States and other relevant organizations to the UN or the international societal system, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to create initiatives to raise public awareness of autism
- encourages Member States to raise awareness of autism on all levels in society
- asks the UN Secretary-General to deliver this message to member states and all other UN organizations
- Is unable to make eye contact with the parent; for instance, looking away when a parent is feeding them or the child not smiling back at his or her parent
- Is unable to follow gesture or objects visually when pointed to him or her
- Does not make noises to catch the attention of the parent
- Is unable to respond when called by name or to a familiar voice
- Does not use gestures to communicate such as wave goodbye or point at something
- Not able to initiate or respond to cuddling or reach put to be picked by the parent or a person familiar to him or her
- Does not interact socially with other children, his or her parents, or any other familiar person
- Seems not to care if a parent or caregiver is hurt or is experiencing some discomfort