CBS‘s “The Talk” will profile inspiring stories of teens living with autism, including 16-year-old Carly Fleischmann. Although Carly can’t speak, this incredible young woman has a lot to say. She tirelessly advocates for others with autism by communicating her feelings and emotions on an iPad with revolutionary apps such asproloquo2go, using her inspirational Web site and blogs to “speak” to the world.
Check your local listings for the time near you!
The Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, GA hosted a kickoff event to Light It Up Blue and kick off Autism Awareness Month! Bernie Marcus and Dr. Ami Klin were the keynote speakers, along with local mom Kimberly Dick (Walk Chair for the GA Walk), and her son, who shared a touching story. She shared how he has benefited from early intervention and services at the Marcus Autism Center, while Bernie talked about how far we have come in his 20 years of being involved in bringing awareness and clinical programs to the people of GA and around the world. The Marcus Autism Center even rolled out a BLUE carpet, colored the grass BLUE, and lit the entire building in BLUE lights. Bernie flipped a switch, and the children of the Early Intervention Program came out to celebrate, as the official “Light It Up Blue” song was playing. Everyone celebrated this special day by wearing blue, and photos were shared of other buildings around the world that also were participating. A reception was held afterwards for the families and staff of the Marcus Autism Center, and everyone left feeling empowered and proud to share with others about Autism Awareness. It was truly a special event and the Marcus Autism Center will remain blue for the month of April.
On April 1 and April 2 buildings all over the world were lit in bright blue to help kick off Autism Awareness Month and celebrate World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Visit lightitupblue.org for more photos and information. See a list of the more than 1000 buildings participating in Light It Up Blue and find out about national fundraising and awareness initiatives from Autism Speaks’ partners. Watch an interview with Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speak, from NBA TV, and see how the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs celebrated the day. See how “The Talk” lit it up blue on April 1 and see photos and video from etnies’ free skateboarding clinic for children with autism.
CBS Early Show
|Autism Speaks opened World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, on the CBS Saturday Early Show. Bob and Suzanne Wright were guests of anchors Russ Mitchell and Rebecca Jarvis on their Early Coffee segment. They shared that over 1000 buildings in the U.S. and around the world turned blue last night and will again tonight to celebrate WAAD. When asked “what do you want people to know about autism,” Suzanne Wright said “1 in 110 … the numbers are staggering,” Bob answered the question of “What is the biggest challenge you would like to overcome with autism?” by saying “If we can get real good research and translate it into drugs and therapies we can have enormous impact – what helps a child helps an adult.” See the clip here.|
Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
|The Intrepid played host this morning to a press conference and family event for those affected by autism. Children from Pelham Middle School joined children with autism from schools around NYC and N.J. to celebrate WAAD on April 2. Owen Saunders, a student at Pelham Middle School, created the song Light It Up Blue and got his classmates to sing it. Autism Speaks recorded the kids singing the song and created a video that has gone viral around the world! The father of a child with autism in Argentina translated the song into Spanish and it is being sung in Spain and Argentina to celebrate WAAD today.The students sang their heart-warming song today to an audience that included guest speakers Suzanne and Bob Wright – who were joined by the children and grandchildren, Senator Robert Menendez (NJ), and the president of the Intrepid Susan Marenoff-Zausner. They received a standing ovation at the conclusion of their performance. Plus visit the Pix 11 blog to see the students’ performance from April 1.
Guests and Intrepid visitors were also able to try out Autism Speaks’ brand new interactive awareness ad created by BBDO with the Ad Council. The display invites people to try to make eye contact with a young girl on the screen to demonstrate an early warning sign of autism.
NYSE Opening Bell
|On the morning of April 1, Suzanne and Bob Wright, co-founders of Autism Speaks, and Toni Braxton, six time Grammy Award-winner and Autism Speaks spokesperson, along with other supporters, were on hand to ring the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Watch video here.|
Empire State Building
|Autism Speaks volunteers and supporters gathered at the Empire State Building to flip the ceremonial switch to turn the lights blue for the second year in a row. Bob and Suzanne Wright and Toni Braxton addressed the crowd. Read more and see photos.|
Autism Speaks National Capital Area is proud to team with a local teenager to bring the following innovative program to help needy children with autism.
Priya Krishnan, a high school junior from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia, is coordinating Project Touch through the 501(c)3 non-profit foundation that she co-founded with her sister. Through the past four years, Priya worked very hard and has successfully raised money using various fundraisers for a cause that is really dear to her heart. Priya has an 8-year old cousin who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. Ever since Priya gave him an Apple iTouch for Christmas, he has shown great progress in learning with it. Motivated by his positive response to the iTouch, Priya has decided to help similar children who may not be able to afford an iTouch. As a first step, she wants to help 50 needy Virginia children with autism with a free Apple iTouch. Recipients will be selected on the basis of essays submitted to Priya and her student committee.
“Autism now affects approximately one percent of the global population, or 67 million people worldwide,” said Ann Gibbons, Executive Director of the National Capital Area Chapter of Autism Speaks. “Priya, who through her extraordinary efforts will make a difference today in the lives of 50 children, reminds all of our families that they are not alone in their struggle.”
On the evenings of April 1 and 2, 2011, prominent buildings across North America and the world – including the Empire State Building in New York City and the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada – will turn their lights blue to raise awareness for autism and to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day on Saturday, April 2nd. “We’re aiming to light the world blue all throughout April – city by city, town by town – by taking action to raise autism awareness in our communities,” Gibbons said. Project Touch will commemorate April, Autism Awareness Month, by presenting the iTouches to the selected children at an awards ceremony in April.
Selection Criteria: please clearly write, not exceeding one page, why your family/child/student should be awarded an Apple iTouch. While we do not require income information, please explain why your child/family is deserving of the award. The purpose of this project is to help children with autism whose families are not able to afford items such as Apple iTouch units. Please adhere to the one-page requirement, provide complete contact information, and list the name of the child and the school he or she attends. Recipients must be residents of Virginia. Send the completed write-up to the following address:
c/o Autism Speaks
1990 K Street, NW, 2nd Fl
Washington, DC 20006
mail, fax to 202.955.3115 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: March 15, 2011.