Harkness Tower will be bathed in blue to raise awareness about autism
As part of the “Light it Up Blue” awareness campaign in honor of World Autism Awareness Day, Harkness Tower will be bathed in bright blue on the evening of April 2. This symbol of support for those affected by autism is just one of the events sponsored by the Yale for Autism Awareness (YFAA), an undergraduate organization that works to raise autism awareness on Yale’s campus.
Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with fundraising and awareness-raising events. Currently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, but are almost five times more common among boys than among girls. More individuals are being diagnosed with autism than ever before, but many fundamental questions remain unanswered, including
According to the organizers, “On World Autism Awareness Day, we unite to show our solidarity and support for those affected by an autism spectrum disorder. We raise awareness to help improve the lives of those touched by autism.”
During the day on April 2, the Yale group will spread the word on Cross Campus, where there will be many opportunities to learn more about autism. Lawn signs will be displayed that detail facts about Autism Spectrum Disorder, with an emphasis on the diversity of individuals affected. In addition, members of Students for Autism Awareness at Yale will be stationed around Cross Campus informing people about autism and distributing informational pamphlets.
In addition to the educational opportunities on Cross Campus, the Woolsey rotunda will feature a gallery of artwork created by adults with autism from Chapel Haven, a New Haven-based transition program that serves adults with autism. On March 24, over 50 students from Yale and Chapel Haven gathered together to create the artwork that will be on view in Woolsey. After being displayed for the day, the art will be moved to the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, 80 Wall St., where it will remain for the rest of the month.
During the evening, world-renowned autism expert Dr. Fred Volkmar, the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center, will lead a discussion over dinner in the Berkeley College Fellows Lounge aimed at explaining what autism is, current research in the field, and successful intervention techniques.
As a Dwight Hall member group, YFAA focuses on providing Yale students with “active” awareness opportunities that allow students to engage and work with individuals with autism. Yale for Autism Awareness strives to help improve the lives of those affected by autism.