April is Autism Awareness Month
April is Autism Awareness Month and throughout the month, Okaloosa County Schools will be holding autism-friendly events and educational activities to increase understanding and acceptance and foster autism support.
On April 2, 2019, Okaloosa County Students and staff are encouraged to "Light It Up Blue" by wearing something blue in support of a better understanding of Autism and of being kind to everyone.
The Light It Up Blue initiative was created by Autism Speaks in 2010. Since that time, joined by the international autism community, hundreds of thousands of landmarks, buildings, homes, and communities around the world light blue on World Autism Awareness Day (April 2) in recognition of people living with autism. In 2017, 170 countries from all 7 continents participated.
According to the AutismSpeaks.org website, Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States today.
Interested in learning more or becoming involved? Check out the resources below:
- Autism Speaks Resources
- Autism Spectrum on the Emerald Coast, Inc. - The mission of the Autism Spectrum on the Emerald Coast (ASEC) is to serve as the leading voice and resource of the local autism community.
- Emerald Coast Autism Center - The Emerald Coast Autism Center (ECAC) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to educating and improving the lives of young children with autism in Okaloosa and Walton counties and surrounding areas.
- Florida Health Autism Resources
- FSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) - The FSU CARD is dedicated to providing individuals with Autism or related disabilities, their families, and professionals who work with them with a free consultation, resources, and educational support to build knowledge, infrastructure, sustainability, and capacity within the community.
- Spectrum House Autism Center - helps children with autism reach their full potential.
Be sure to share your photos on social media using the hashtag: #OCSDgoesBLUEforAutism.