NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Each April, Autism Speaks celebrates the start of its signature campaign, Light It Up Blue, along with the international autism community in recognition of UN sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day and April, World Autism Month.
Thousands of iconic landmarks and buildings join the hundreds of thousands of homes and communities around the world to “light blue” in support of people living with autism.
This year Danbury City Hall to join the autism awareness movement. David Parks, owner of Spin Doctor Entertainment, has graciously donated his services and equipment.
April 10th at 6:30 PM – Danbury City hall Light Up Blue Ceremony
May 6th at 9:00 AM – Western CT Autism Speaks Walk – Library Park, Waterbury, CT
This morning, Ann Jordan, co-chair of the Western CT Autism Speaks Walk, and Emanuela Palmares, whose son has autism, stopped by our studio to talk about events going on this month and why it is so important to support the autism community.
Autism by the numbers:
One in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to report released by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014. That is a 30% increase from 1 in 88 back in 2012.
Emanuela Palmares’ ASD story:
“My son Caio, & I started our journey down the autism road with early intervention. He was diagnosed at age 2 at the Yale Child Study Center, after he was red flagged by his pediatrician and referred to the Birth-Three program.
Autism Speaks was an important resource for me when Caio was first diagnosed, one of the first things I did was download their 100 Day Kit for Newly Diagnosed Families of Young Children. I remember the comfort having a least a sense of direction of where to go, and feeling more knowledgeable and empowered to interact with service providers.
Caio has received autism intervention services for the past 3 years and made incredible gains in some areas due to therapy. But unfortunately, Caio has also developed some health issues that have become a daily struggle in his life, an aspect of the effects autism that is often overlooked. Caio is one of many children in our community that live with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
That is why raising awareness about ASD is so important. It can not only improve the quality of life of those diagnosed by fostering acceptance, but it can also lead to early detection and intervention and dramatically improve the outcomes of children with autism in our community.”
To create change for those affected by ASD:
-More children – especially those in lower socio-economic populations – need to be diagnosed earlier and have access to effective interventions sooner
– More people – children and adults – with autism need access to effective interventions, services and supports across the lifespan and across the spectrum
– People with ASD and their families need transition plans that result in more independent adult life that is meaningful to the individual
– We also need a better understanding of the causes and typology of ASD
– We need better treatments both for underlying pathology as well as co-existing conditions that decrease quality of life for those with autism.