Local Hospital Lights it up Blue to Raise Awareness for Autism in April
2015-04-07 · By Editor
Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach employees, community supporters, parents of patients with autism and their families kicked off Autism Awareness Month by participating in the “Light it up Blue” initiative yesterday, on World Autism Awareness Day. More than 60 supporters gathered for a photo in front of the Miller Children’s Pavilion to commit to spreading autism awareness and participate in the international “Light it up Blue” initiative.
Autism statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that around 1 in 68 American children are identified with an autism spectrum disorder – a 30 percent increase from 1 in 88 three years ago. Each April 2, 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.
Gary Feldman, M.D., medical director, Stramski Children’s Developmental Center, Miller Children’s, spoke at the event about the impact of autism in our community. “Autism is a disability that is no longer living in the shadows. With more than 70 million people living with Autism in the world, and three million in the U.S., it is a disability that people need to make an effort to understand rather than ignore,” says Dr. Feldman. “Initiatives like ‘Light it up Blue’ are a great way to promote awareness in our community and join in an international cause.”
Attendees signed an awareness wall to pledge their support in spreading Autism Awareness in Long Beach and surrounding communities. The wall was placed in the Miller Children’s Pavilion lobby after the event and is available for all visitors to sign.
The event is one of the many ways that Miller Children’s is raising awareness during Autism Awareness Month. Every night in April, the exterior of the Miller Children’s Pavilion will be lit up blue to show support for autism awareness. Other highlights of Miller Children’s “Light it up Blue” initiative in April include “lighting up” the Miller Children’s website and Facebook page blue in solidarity with other institutions around the world going blue.