By Jim Goodwin, President/CEO, Center for Human Development
Many of us recognize pink as the color associated with breast cancer awareness. Yet, some may not be aware that the color associated with Autism awareness is blue. To get people thinking and talking about autism, April has been designated Autism Awareness Month. You may see even more people wearing blue ribbons this month, and around the world buildings are being illuminated with blue lights as part of the Light It Up Blue campaign. CBS Broadcast Headquarters in New York lit up blue. So did London’s Trafalgar Square and China’s Oriental Pearl Tower. Here in Springfield, the Basketball Hall of Fame lit up its enormous basketball completely blue!
Whether it’s ribbons, lights or just heartfelt concern, whatever gets the conversation about autism going is good. Autism Spectrum Disorder, often abbreviated ASD, is a group of complex disorders of brain development. According to Autism Speaks (www.autismspeaks.org), disorders on the autism spectrum are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art, but ASD also can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention, and physical health issues.