International Angelman Day Supporters Hope to Draw Widespread Attention

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by Mary Chapman |

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International Angelman Day

On International Angelman Day (IAD), Feb. 15 this year, supporters are hoping to draw widespread attention to the complex genetic neurological disorder and prompt conversations about the community and its needs.

Angelman syndrome (AS) — which affects about 1 in 15,000 people, or half a million, worldwide — can cause developmental delays, seizures, walking and balance disorders, gastrointestinal issues, and little to no speaking ability.

People can mark IAD with a special Facebook frame, sample social media posts, educational flyers, and a commemorative poster. The IAD offerings are courtesy of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation, one of 50 organizations coming together to find ways to help heighten awareness of the disorder and to honor patients and their loved ones.

The day is also set aside for fundraising, mobilizing supporters to further action, and promoting research taking place throughout the world, as well as available resources in different countries.

To help spread awareness online, supporters can share the IAD 2021 poster, and add this year’s Facebook frame to their profile photo. They are also encouraged to use #IAD2021 on all social media posts.

In addition, supporters can customize their images by using a photo of their loved one with Angelman, for friends and family to recognize.

Advocates can also copy a Facebook post to explain Angelman and some of the challenges patients regularly face. A Facebook cover image about IAD is also available from the ASF, as is an educational flyer.

Organizations abroad, such Angelman UK, are also getting into the act. To mark the day, the nonprofit is organizing various regional activities including a visit to a theme park or soft play center — an indoor area for small children with play equipment made from soft materials. The organization is also planning more formal events including presentations from speakers who have expertise in Angelman syndrome. Write to the organization for more information.

The Angelman Syndrome Foundation seeks to advance the awareness and treatment of the disorder through education, information, research, and support.