Lighting it up BLUE for World Autism Awareness Day
Today is the 14th annual World Autism Awareness Day, and Latham Centers joins the international community in coming together to Light It Up Blue in recognition of people with autism and those who love and support them. Autism-friendly events and educational activities take place all month, aiming to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, foster worldwide support, and inspire a kinder, more inclusive world.
Our staff is helping spread kindness and autism awareness. Children’s Program Manager Jose M wrote to colleagues, “This is a very special day as it is “Light It Up Blue, World Autism Awareness Day.” I ask that as many of you participate in this auspicious day as possible by wearing your bluest blue. Thank you for your participation, I look forward to seeing all of you!”
Director of National Outreach Katrina Fryklund noted that while Latham Centers’ largest demographic is students and adults with Prader-Willi syndrome, many of our students with and without PWS have a dual diagnosis including autism. [https://www.lathamcenters.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/ECfactbrochure_19.pdf] “On this day, we join with the special needs community worldwide to buoy all programs that encourage growth and achievements of individuals with autism. We are so fortunate to be a part of our students’ and residents’ lives, supporting their important goals to achieve, friendships to make, and interests to explore.”
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention, and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some individuals with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math, and art. In 2020, the CDC reported that approximately 1 in 54 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, according to 2016 data. (Source: https://www.autismspeaks.org/autism-statistics-asd)