“Lighting it Up Blue” in Celebration of World Autism Day

Theatre educator and director Amie Gossett, a passionate advocate for Autism Awareness, places

Bayleigh Williams

Theatre educator and director Amie Gossett, a passionate advocate for Autism Awareness, places "Light it Up Blue" posters around the school.

On April 2, the Autism Speaks Foundation encourages global participation in the Light it Up Blue campaign, in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day.

Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prove that one out of every 68 children in the United States are classified on the autism spectrum. Misconceptions about Autism run rampant in society on an everyday basis. That’s why the Autism Speaks Foundation encourages global participation in the Light it Up Blue campaign, on April 2, in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day.

The Light it Up Blue campaign’s mission is to raise autism awareness by encouraging people to incorporate the color blue, the organization’s official awareness color, into their lighting fixtures by swapping white bulbs for blue. Throughout the month of April, famous landmarks, like Niagra Falls and the Statue of Christ Redeemer, sports stadiums, local businesses and thousands of homes will all be lit blue in dedication to Autistic individuals on a global scale.

Although the severity and symptoms of Autism vary from person to person, common attributes displayed by Autistic individuals include: difficulties in expressing emotion and engaging in social interactions, difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication, and tendencies to habitually repeat certain behaviors.

Theatre educator and director Amie Gossett, a passionate advocate for Autism Awareness, encourages members of the community to recognize the significance of World Autism Awareness day in order to eradicate the stigma that often accompanies an autistic person.

“This day is important not only because is it important to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum disorder, it is also a valuable way to support and encourage advocacy for students in the West High community who have Autism Spectrum disorder,” Gossett said. “There is a common misconception that there is a one-size-fits-all solution for working with students with Autism; this couldn’t be farther from the truth. This disorder can take on many forms, much like the colors in a spectrum, and each student’s’ education must be approached individually.”

“Lighting it up blue” for autism awareness is not limited to the month of April. Local programs like the Autism Speaks 2 Teens Council, established in 2012, help involve high schoolers with spreading awareness in their own communities.

“Students from high schools across St. Louis have formed a group made up of students on the [Autism] spectrum. They organize fundraisers and social engagements to help spread awareness,” Gossett said.

This Fall, St. Louisans have an opportunity to positively impact the lives of Autistic members of their own community. During the second weekend in October, St. Louis will host the Autism Speaks walk and fun run with registration beginning in August.

 

 

To find out more about the Light it Up Blue campagin, click HERE
To register for the Autism Speaks walk and fun run, click HERE.