Bethesda, MD (Vocus) March 31, 2010
The Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, will launch several family-friendly awareness activities to give people with autism and their communities a chance to celebrate National Autism Awareness Month in their unique ways this April. Highlights include:
- Put on the Puzzle! The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world. This month we are asking the autism community to show support for people with autism by wearing the Puzzle Ribbon.
- Text AUTISM to 50555. For the first time ever, supporters can now simply text “AUTISM” to 50555 to donate $10 to the Autism Society, 100 percent of which will go to support the Autism Society’s mission of improving the lives of all affected by autism. On April 1, the Autism Society is also asking supporters to change their status on Facebook and/or Twitter to: Autism affects 1 in 110. Text “AUTISM” to 50555 to donate $10 to the Autism Society. Help spread the word: http://bit.ly/bUAVRf.
- Take action. There are several important bills moving through Congress that will have important effects on the autism community – safer educational settings (Keeping All Students Safe Act), better autism services (Autism Treatment Acceleration Act), greater financial independence (Achieving a Better Life Experience Act), better protection against toxic chemicals (Toxic Substances Control Act reform, introduction expected soon), and more.
- Find local events. The Autism Society and inflatable playground franchise Pump It Up are bouncing again with “Bounce for Autism” – over 100 community-based events that combine family fun with raising awareness and support for autism. Many Autism Society local chapters also put on events in the community through the month of April. A new online tool, 1Power4Autism, also makes it easy for supporters to mobilize friends and family and help make a difference in whatever way suits them best.
- Broaden someone’s world. Something that seems as simple as going to the movies is often not an option for many families affected by autism, whose world is often only as large as their home. The Autism Society is working with AMC entertainment to bring special-needs families an accepting new environment with the monthly “Sensory Friendly Films” program. Our special showing of How to Train Your Dragon is coming to theatres nationwide on April 10. We are also partnering with the Independent Television Service (ITVS) to support 70 community screenings of the new movie The Horse Boy. The film chronicles Rupert Isaacson’s journey with his family to the other side of the world, a journey which teaches them to think of their son’s autism as an adventure rather than a curse, a beginning rather than an end.
For more information about any of the activities, please visit http://www.autism-society.org/AutismAwarenessMonth.
The Autism Society can also provide experts, parents, or other strong media sources for any autism-related stories you may be working on this month – from the challenges facing adults with autism to the need for early intervention to community efforts at social inclusion, the Autism Society is a great place to get balanced, contextual information.
To learn more about the Autism Society and National Autism Awareness Month, or to schedule interviews with autism experts, contact Carin Yavorcik, Media Specialist, at 301-657-0881 x9015 or cyavorcik(at)autism-society(dot)org.
About National Autism Awareness Month: Established in the 1970s to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, April is a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community. With one in 110 Americans now being diagnosed, the need for services and supports are greater than ever, and this year the Autism Society hopes to raise awareness of the many issues faced by families affected by autism. Learn more at http://www.autism-society.org/AutismAwarenessMonth.
About the Puzzle Ribbon: The puzzle pattern reflects the mystery and complexity of the autism spectrum. The different colors and shapes represent the diversity of the people and families living with the condition. The brightness of the ribbon signals hope—hope that through increased awareness of autism, early intervention and appropriate treatments, people with autism will lead fuller, more complete lives.
About Autism: Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disability that typically appears during the first two years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause for autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.
# # #