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April is Autism Awareness Month

April 14th, 2017

Advocates for people with autism are marking Autism Awareness Month in many ways throughout the month of April.

Littman Krooks Special Education AdvocacyBuildings and landmarks around the world were illuminated in blue light April 2 for World Autism Awareness Day, recognized by the United Nations since 2007. The Light It Up Blue campaign is sponsored by the nonprofit organization Autism Speaks. The White House, Rockefeller Center, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Empire State Building were all bathed in blue light to raise consciousness of autism spectrum disorder, which affects one in 68 children.

The PBS children’s program Sesame Street added a new character in April: a Muppet named Julia, who has autism. The show’s online Digital Storybook series has featured Julia since 2015, but she is now making her television debut. Sesame Street producers met with groups that serve people with autism to learn which issues would be best to focus on. In the first episode featuring the red-haired Julia, she is hesitant to shake Big Bird’s hand. Big Bird is afraid Julia does not like him, but Elmo explains that Julia “does things a little differently” because she has autism. The episode also portrays Julia’s excitability during a game and her sensitivity to loud noises. Stacey Gordon, the puppeteer behind Julia, has a son with autism. She said that she hopes children who watch the show will learn that kids with autism play differently, “and that that’s okay.”

Advocates said that increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism and their families is essential, but raising awareness is only the first step. Although great advances have been made in research and interventions, children and adults with autism need meaningful assistance, and the programs that help them need strong funding support.

 

Learn more about our special needs planning and special education advocacy services at www.littmankrooks.com or www.specialneedsnewyork.com.


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What Should I Know About Autism Awareness Month?

April 9th, 2012

April is Autism Awareness Month, a time to raise public consciousness about autism and autism spectrum disorders.  You should be aware of what is happening this month to raise awareness, and new facts that have just been reported about autism diagnoses.

One of the most prominent signs you may see – or wear yourself – indicating the significance of this month is the Puzzle Ribbon, produced by the nonprofit Autism Society.  This ribbon featuring multi-colored puzzle pieces is an internationally-recognized symbol of autism awareness.  Wear it with pride and thank others when you see them wearing it.

If you noticed an iconic building in your city illuminated in blue on Monday evening and wondered why, it was in honor of World Autism Awareness Day, sanctioned by the United Nations and initiated by the nonprofit organization Autism Speaks.  From the Empire State Building to Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer Statue, from Tokyo Tower to Graceland in Memphis, a blue light of awareness shown on close to 3,000 structures in more than 600 cities throughout the world.

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control reveals a sharp increase in the rate of autism diagnoses. In the United States today, one in every 88 children is diagnosed with autism or an autism-related disorder.  While the diagnosis rate has been rising for years, the recent numbers represent a large increase: since 2006, there has been a 23% increase, and since 2002, a 78% increase.  One difficult question is whether this increase in diagnoses actually represents an increase in autism.  Public health officials say that the increase may be partly accounted for by more successful efforts to diagnose autism in younger and minority children.

What autism events and facts do I need to be aware of:

  • The Puzzle Ribbon is a recognized symbol of autism awareness that benefits the Autism Society
  • April 2 was World Autism Awareness Day, initiated by Autism Speaks and marked with their Light It Up Blue campaign
  • Autism diagnoses have risen sharply: now one in every 88 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism or an autism-related disorder

For assistance with questions regarding your childs special needs visit our website athttps://www.specialneedsnewyork.com/.

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