According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention early last week, one in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a 30% increase from 1 in 88 two years ago.
This newest estimate is based on the CDC's evaluation of health and educational records of all 8-year-old children in 11 states: Alabama, Wisconsin, Colorado, Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas, Arizona, Maryland, North Carolina, Utah and New Jersey. Studies also show children with autism continue to be overwhelmingly male. The CDC estimates 1 in 42 boys has autism, 4.5 times as many as girls (1 in 189).
In honor of Autism Awareness month, there are many ways you and your family can show support during autism awareness month. You can participate in Ford's Light It Up Blue Event.
You can wear blue. Incorporate blue in your clothes for the month of April, starting on April 2
Wear an Autism Speaks puzzle lapel pin, bracelet or other accessory. Find them here. Try asking your friends, family and coworkers to wear blue and take a group photo and upload to the Light It Up Blue community photo gallery
You can also light your home blue. Buy some blue light bulbs for your front porch light or your outdoor lights. The Home Depot is now carrying three blue bulbs manufactured by Philips: 25W incandescent, 100W indoor/outdoor flood lamp, 13W CFL. Make sure to upload your photo to the Light It Up Blue community photo gallery!
If you'd like to be more active, this Sunday April 6th you can participate in the Walk Now for Autism Speaks in JC Bermudez in Miami. This is a fun-filled, family event. There's still time so take the first step and register today. You can raise funds, and become a part of a fun and supportive community.
Maybe you simply want to find ways to have fun with your ASD child in a safe and supportive environment. The Miami Marlins wants to accommodate you this Friday April 4th for MLB Autism Awareness Day. You can join the Marlins in an effort to raise awareness about this developmental disorder. The package includes a ticket to the game against the San Diego Padres with proceeds from each event ticket being donated directly to local autism organizations. In addition, there will be a pregame Resource Fair. All seating will be located in the Lexus Legends Level, so your family can expect a comfortable setting to enjoy the game. Also a quiet room will be available if needed. These packages are only $20 each.
The International Game Fish Association is inviting you to make lasting memories with your special needs child. On Saturday April 12th, the they have partnered with Make A Difference for the Annual Special Anglers Tournament held at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach, Florida. The Special Anglers Tournament is an opportunity for physically and neurologically challenged children to enjoy the sport of fishing. This tournament is a catch and release event where all participants receives a prize and certificate. Everyone goes home with lots of goodies such as their very own rods and reels, a goodie bags, T-shirts and much more. A pizza lunch is also provided. The children will enjoy fishing, but they also paint, fish in IGFA’s simulated Catch Gallery and many more activities. This is a free event. Please call Veronica at (954) 924-4309 for more information.
If you need a break from the heat, take a break in a cool air conditioned theater with AMC's Sensory Friendly Family Films Series. This excellent program provides a special opportunity for families to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. All auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing without the fear of making other viewers uncomfortable. Feel free to bring your own snacks. This month's feature is RIO 2 on April 19th. Click here for an AMC theater near you.