Landmarks across Connecticut will illuminate blue on Wednesday, April 2 to support Autism Speaks’ Light It Up Blue campaign in honor of World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month.
Connecticut buildings, including Waterbury’s Holy Land, Waterbury City Hall and Chase Building as well as the Waterbury Palace Theater marquee will join a growing list of nearly 7,000 buildings and landmarks in more than 750 US cities and 93 countries to shine a light on autism as a growing public health crisis. Waterbury schools such as John G. Gilmartin Elementary School is also celebrating Light It Up Blue with a walk of awareness around the school grounds.
The public is encouraged to support autism awareness April 2 by switching to blue light bulbs, often found at home improvement stores, and to then post their photos online at www.lightitupblue.org.
The Empire State Building in NYC, the Aspen Mountain in Colorado, Niagara Falls in Canada, Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and even the International Space Station will all join Autism Speaks in support of the millions of families affected by autism.
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 78 percent increase in six years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed nearly $200 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 40 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.