To kick off Autism Awareness Month, more than 60 Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach employees, community supporters, patients with autism and their families held 67 blue balloons and 1 white balloon to represent the statistic that 1 in 68 U.S. children have an autism spectrum disorder.
Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach employees, community supporters, patients with autism and their families kicked off Autism Awareness Month by participating in the global “Light It Up Blue” initiative. On Friday, April 1, more than 60 supporters, holding 67 blue balloons and 1 white balloon, gathered in front of the Miller Children’s Pavilion to portray the statistic that 1 in 68 children are identified with an autism spectrum disorder.
One in 68 children in the U.S. have autism spectrum disorder – a 10-fold increase over the past 40 years. Attendees signed their name on their own “Light It Up Blue” poster, pledging to join Miller Children’s in its mission to raise autism awareness. The event is one of the many ways that Miller Children’s is raising awareness during Autism Awareness Month.
Gary Feldman, M.D., medical director, Stramski Children’s Developmental Center, Miller Children’s, spoke at the event about the impact of autism in the community. “Initiatives like ‘Light It Up Blue’ are important to raise awareness that people with autism need support throughout their entire lives and not only as children,” says Dr. Feldman. “It’s imperative to bring attention of this growing disorder and help teach communities to be more tolerant and understanding of autism.”
At the beginning of April, organizations around the world “Light It Up Blue” in commemoration of the United Nations sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day. “Light It Up Blue” is a unique global initiative that kicks off Autism Awareness Month and helps raise awareness about autism.
Every night in April, the exterior of the Miller Children’s Pavilion will be lit up blue to show support for autism awareness. Community members also can show their support by visiting MillerChildrens.org/GoBlue and writing an inspiring message of support on a “Light It Up Blue” pledge. Then share a photo of the pledge on their social media pages using the hashtag #LIUB and tag Miller Children’s on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
For more information on the “Light It Up Blue” initiative at Miller Children’s or to learn more about autism, visit MillerChildrens.org/GoBlue.
In individual posters, community members wrote why they are supporting the “Light It Up Blue” initiative and pledged to raise autism awareness in April.
Gary Feldman, M.D., medical director, Stramski Center, Miller Children’s, was joined by members of the Steel Magnolias, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Stramski Center, to pledge their support of Autism Awareness Month.
Special light fixtures will light up the exterior of the Miller Children’s Pavilion blue every night in April in honor of Autism Awareness Month.