April is Autism Awareness month, and it is Autism Awareness Week here on campus. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development, which are characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism, in varying degrees, in the United States.
The SUNY New Paltz chapter of Autism Speaks U will be hosting a series of events aimed at raising autism awareness and raising funds for Autism Speaks. Be sure to visit their table outside of SUB100 this week; bracelets, pins, water bottles, and raffle tickets will be on sale. Blue hair extensions and henna tattoos are also available.
On Friday, April 4, eat a meal at P&Gs on Main Street and 15% of the bill will go to Autism Speaks U; you must present the coupon, which can be printed from the chapter’s Facebook group page:
In addition to this week’s events, there will be a parent panel on Thursday, April 24 at 6:30pm in CSB Auditorium. Parents on the panel will share their experiences in helping their child navigate the public education system and answer audience questions.
About Autism Speaks U
Autism Speaks U is a program designed to support college students in their awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts for Autism Speaks. Since its inaugural event at Penn State in 2006, Autism Speaks U events have raised over $1 million and student-organized Walk teams have brought in millions more.
The Autism Speaks U SUNY New Paltz chapter was founded by Danielle Franke in November 2011. She says: “I decided to start this chapter on our campus because of my past work with children on the spectrum. Our chapter has raised much-needed awareness of autism, and we have been successful at raising money for Autism Speaks and for individuals on the spectrum; we raised money for a child to receive a therapy dog.”
Visit the Autism Speaks U table outside SUB100 to learn more about autism, Autism Speaks, and to support the efforts of this “true blue” campus group!