The third annual “Light It Up Blue for Autism” event was a huge success and drew a large crowd on Saturday April 2, said organizers Melissa Campbell and April Haley. The pair said despite the gusty winds, the event drew a large crowd supporting acceptance and awareness of individuals on the autism spectrum.
Over 200 blue balloons were released representing 1 of the 68 diagnosed with autism.
“To see the growing support from members of our community is heart warming, together we can make a better world for individuals with autism and their families,” said Campbell.
According to the National Autistic Society Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.
It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colors.
Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.
Campbell says be aware when you see that child in the store who is screaming or having a melt down, he/she may have autism and be overstimulated by their environment. Autism is a spectrum disorder and each child is affected differently; some may be mild, classic, or severe.
“Please continue to Light it Blue through the entire month of April, as it is autism awareness month,” said Campbell.
Campbell and Haley would like to personally thank everyone who donated money, refreshments, volunteered, provided resources, promoted awareness, and participated in the annual event.
“Thank you, because you advocate, understand, take time, include, speak out, and make a difference,” said the pair. “A special thank you to the following businesses and individuals, your generosity made our event special.”
Kelly Autism Program
Barren River Mental Health and Aging Coalition
Russellville Active Day Center
Jordan Allen Mentalist-Illusionist
Agri Serve Crop Management
East Main Diner
Kelly Phillips Art
Deb Howard Photography
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.