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How toques are starting the conversation about Autism

Despite being almost the end of April, that cold weather is still holding on and we haven’t escaped our winter toques just yet.

The Autism Society NWT is now using your toque as a tool to raise awareness.

RELATED: City declares April 2nd Autism Awareness Day in Yellowknife

It’s Twisted Toques and Toonies day, a new awareness campaign that encourages the public to change up the way they wear their toques to start the conversation around autism.

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At schools and workplaces, people are wearing their hats backwards, sideways, or any other wacky way.

“We wanted people to take a look at taking a common item, wearing it differently, seeing it in a different way and bringing that awareness to autism,” explained the society’s president Denise McKee.

“We want people to take a look at autism and see the spectrum differently, seeing that there are perfections in the imperfections amongst us.”

The campaign is also raising donations throughout the day for the volunteer-run organization’s activates, though McKee says they don’t expect to make much.

Mostly the day is about igniting the conversation, she says, and changing the way people view autism in the North.

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“What we’d like to see is that this becomes something that across the board is associated with the North and with the Autism Society,” she said.

“We [want to] start to see a day where all people all across the territory are wearing their toques differently, really igniting conversation, starting to take a look at ‘Hey what is Autism?’, how does it present itself… It’s about engaging people and making sure we’re making our communities more inclusive.”

Earlier this month, Mayor Mark Heyck declared April 2nd to be Autism Awareness day in the city of Yellowknife, coinciding with World Autism Day.

Autism Society NWT is also holding a ping-pong pajama party at the Fort Smith Recreation Centre Friday, where teams will play throughout the night to raise money for the group. You can find more information here.

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