When he sees houses and establishments decorated with blue lights in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day, Wolfville resident and autism advocate “Cowboy” Harrison Czapalay experiences this.
The 25-year-old Czapalay stated that his goal is to speak up for people who haven’t been given the confidence to discuss their autism in the same way that he has.
He places a high value on maintaining the annual Wolfville Lights It Up Blue Charity Barbecue in Clock Park to support autism awareness. People are urged to wear blue apparel as a show of support, and blue balloons are used to decorate lamp poles for the occasion.
As more people in the Annapolis Valley began to recognize the existence of autism, he stated, “I wanted to make it something grander to raise the awareness.”
On March 30, a charity BBQ was hosted to benefit the Acadia S.M.I.L.E. (Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience) program and the Annapolis Valley Chapter of Autism Nova Scotia. The occasion had been held for four years.
Czapalay said he feels extremely proud to see how many guests at the BBQ exhibit a high degree of support for him and other persons with autism. His plan has received a “great reception.”
He said, “It’s almost like running for mayor.”
Czapalay encourages autistic persons to receive the assistance they require. Although he acknowledged that EAs do a great job, he argued that greater support and help should be provided, for instance, through schools.
For this year’s World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, Czapalay wishes to see a lot of blue lights in Wolfville and other Valley communities. He will be busy giving presentations at schools throughout the next week.
He continues to take part in the Acadia S.M.I.L.E. program, which has expanded significantly, according to him. Czapalay, who was given an autism diagnosis when he was three years old, attributes his improved social skills and interaction with others to the program.
This is the reason he said, “I want to give back to them because they’ve supported me in so many ways and they’ve benefited so many kids and young adults.” In addition, I don’t believe any other university can accomplish what Acadia accomplishes.
People must continue to support the Annapolis Valley Chapter of Autism Nova Scotia, which runs an autism centre in Kingston, according to Czapalay. According to him, the centre provides assistance to numerous individuals who are on the autistic spectrum, and it is crucial that the local community is aware of this.
Autism Nova Scotia
Autism Nova Scotia (ANS) is a recognized non-profit organization situated in Halifax that was established in 2002. The founders of ANS, Joan and Jack Craig are the parents of an adult son who has autism.
The group works to increase the ability of the community to better understand, accept, and include families and people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
An ongoing neurodevelopmental disorder is ASD. Communication and social interaction difficulties, as well as restricting and repetitive behaviour, are common in people with ASD.
Autism can range in severity, making every person different. All autistic individuals react to efficient intervention.