Did any of your neighbors swap their white outdoor light bulb for a blue bulb on April 2? When you drove past the CONSOL Energy Center did you notice its screens and LED pucks were blue instead of black and gold? Your neighbors, the Penguins, and others around the took part in Light It Up Blue to commemorate World Autism Day (April 2) and kick off National Autism Awareness Month!
Autism is a disorder that is usually diagnosed in early childhood. The main signs and symptoms of autism involve communication, social interactions and repetitive behaviors.
Children with autism might have problems talking with you, or they might not look you in the eye when you talk to them. They may spend a lot of time putting things in order before they can pay attention, or they may say the same sentence again and again to calm themselves down. They often seem to be in their “own world.”
Because people with autism can have very different features or symptoms, health care providers think of autism as a “spectrum” disorder. Asperger syndrome is a milder version of the disorder.
Organizations like Autism Speaks and the Autism Society work to raise awareness about autism and issues within the autism community not only in April but also year-round. Did you know the Autism Society teamed up with AMC Theatres to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities an opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment every month at “Sensory Friendly Films?” How cool is that?
As you travel around the city be on the lookout for other buildings participating in Light It Up Blue, like the Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Science Center and PNC Park.
Want to learn more? Don’t forget to check Overdrive for ebooks, audiobooks, and videos about autism.