CONTACT: Kate O’Neill, Autism Speaks New England 617.726.1515 x.87719 kate.oneill@
LOCAL CONTACT: Helen Taylor, Autism Speaks Connecticut Communication and Awareness Chair, 203-910-0622, greaterwaterburyautism@
BUILDINGS ACROSS REGION SUPPORT WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY, TUESDAY, APRIL 2
Connecticut takes part in international awareness campaign
Landmarks and events across Connecticut will display the color 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.
The following Connecticut buildings and events will join a growing list of nearly 7,000 buildings and landmarks in more than 750 U.S. 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.
Connecticut Lights It Up Blue for Autism Awareness:
Buffalo Wild Wings will be Lighting It Up Blue in the month of April at the Waterbury, Wethersfield and Southbury restaurants.
Benchmark Assisted Living is Lighting It Up Blue throughout the state on April 2 to support the Testa family who has two children on the spectrum.
Autism Awareness Day at the Connecticut State Capitol building on April 2nd.
Ryan’s Wood Foundation will light their windows with blue lanterns to raise awareness.
The Norwalk Town Green will Light It Up Blue for Autism Awareness Day
The Rocky Hill Town Hall will be lit up blue as well as Main Street light posts with Light It Up Blue banners and many more Main Street buildings. On April 2, families will meet at the Rocky Hill police station and go on a tour. The kids will get to sit in a jail cell and take some pictures. Then they will go out to the police cruisers where they will have the blue lights on and they will be able to turn the sirens on turn the lights of the car on talk over the megaphone. Everyone will walk downtown to observe it lit up blue.
Simsbury is Lighting Up Blue the Eno Memorial Hall blue on April 2 for World Autism Awareness Day. Local and state legislators and families will be present.
On Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 2pm the James Memorial School and Autism Speaks presents: A Sensory Friendly Performance of SHREK the musical for Autism Awareness Month. Families affected by autism and other disabilities to a special live performance of the musical SHREK, so that they may enjoy a live performance in a safe and accepting environment.
Waterbury Mayor Neal O’ Leary proclaimed that April is Autism Awareness Month. The City will recognize World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 by Light It Up Blue the Waterbury City Hall and Chase Building, and Holy Land USA cross will be lit blue. The Waterbury Palace Theater will also light up the marquee blue to spread awareness. Superintendent Kathleen Ouellette is allowing the Waterbury elementary and middle school students to wear blue on April 2and spread autism awareness with a special surprise for the school that raises the most funds for Greater Waterbury Walk Now for Autism Speaks.
Gilmartin Elementary School community are having a Walk for Autism Awareness on April 3rd to support their classmate Chase Taylor who is on the autism spectrum and will be walking with his Team Chase and Friends at the Greater Waterbury Walk Now for Autism Speaks on Saturday, May 10 at the Waterbury Library Park.
A number of public schools in West Hartford will be "Lighting it Up Blue" to raise awareness about autism spectrum disorders in April. Whiting Lane, Wolcott, Morley, and Norfeldt Elementary schools, as well as Hall High, Sedgewick, Bristow, and King Philip Middle Schools, will participate in a variety of activities, including students and staff dressing in blue on April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, decorating the school with autism facts and puzzle piece posters, including autism awareness information as part of morning announcements, and teacher and Media Center let discussions, story readings, and projects. Funds will be raised for the upcoming Greater Hartford Walk Now for Autism Speaks (June 1st), and school Walk Teams will be formed.
On April 24th, Mayor Scott Slifka will declare April as Autism Awareness Month in the town of West Hartford. During the Town Council Meeting, the official proclamation will be presented to parent leaders of community autism organizations in West Hartford, Jackie Procyk of Autism Families CONNECTicut, and Noreen Simmons of the CT Autism Speaks Community.
Over 20 businesses along the Post Road in Westport will Light It Up Blue on April 2.
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 also 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 68 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum.
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.