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Calgary tries to retain title of hosting largest World Autism Awareness Day in Canada

YYC World Autism Awareness Day; Dean Svoboda, Founder and Executive Director, Autism Aspergers Friendship Society, Tracy Mendoza, Family Support/Communications Worker, Autism Calgary, and Zach Hogan, Singer/Songwriter on the Autism spectrum who performs ev
WATCH ABOVE: The 3rd annual YYC World Autism Awareness Day is taking place at Olympic Plaza

CALGARY-  The autism community in Calgary will try and surpass having the largest celebration of World Autism Day in Canada for two years straight.

Families were invited to Olympic Plaza Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

YYC World Autism Awareness Day raises awareness and encourages acceptance of the Autism Spectrum and families impacted by it.

The event is family friendly with food, vendors, face painting and bouncy houses. Everyone at the event has been asked to wear bright colors or tie-dye clothing to show support for Calgary’s autism community and to symbolize the differences in everyone.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a wide spectrum with related neurological disorders which cause developmental disabilities. Families affected by autism can face challenges that result in communication difficulties.

Dean Svoboda is the Founder and Executive Director of the Autism Aspergers Friendship Society (AAFS). Svoboda said in his experience, more families are being affected by Autism than in years past.

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“One in 68 (people) have autism. When I started in the field 15 years ago, it was three births out of every 10,000. It’s gone up so much,” Svoboda said. “Every school system has three or four kids. It’s prevalent.”

Svoboda said the event is a great opportunity for the public to learn more about autism.

“Just because you know one person with autism, doesn’t mean you know about autism. Every single person is different,” Svoboda said.

This marks the 3rd year for the YYC World Autism Awareness Day.