The National Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s most recent data indicate that about one in 68 children in the U.S. have ASD. On average, Spurwink has nearly 3500 open cases on a given day and approximately one in 10 of these youth and adults have ASD.
Virtually every Spurwink program and service supports youth and adults and families affected by ASD.
Despite the prevalence of children identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the majority of the public are still unaware of how autism affects people. Surprisingly, many professionals in the medical, educational and vocational fields also have limited knowledge and training.
The need for autism awareness is great.
Celebrating Autism Awarenes Month
The first National Autism Awareness Month was declared by the Autism Society of America in April 1970 as a way to educate the public about Autism. In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day where Autism is recognized by organizations around the world with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events.
One of these events is Light It Up Blue occurring worldwide annually, with buildings and public facilities using blue lighting to mark the event. Just this month, places ensconced in blue included the Empire State Building:
The Basilica de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona:
The Hemiji Castle in Japan:
And even some the great Sphinx and Pyrimads of Giza:
To top things off, public figures supporting Light it Up Blue in 2015 included Bill Nye (the Science Guy), musician-artist Carole King, singer-songwriter Toni Braxton, actor Joe Mantegna, and journalist Katie Couric.
This kind of global participation inspires a spirit of hope and support for all individuals affected by ASD.
Spurwink joined the movement and took the opportunity to celebrate the unique perspectives of those living with ASD.
We put on blue shirts:
Tied bows on our cars:
And created art crafts:
Most importantly, we recognize the increasing number of children identified with ASD by working night and day to help people with Autism live healthy, engaged lives in their communities. Also, the agency notes the substantial efforts of our youth client and adult consumer families, and our own agency’s treatment, educational, health and support service staff.
We are working to better lives every day.
LINDA S. BUTLER, PH.D., LCSW is the Director of Research & Special Projects at Spurwink.
Photos used with permission from Autism Speaks