Autism Awareness

autism awareness ribbon
Image via Wikipedia

By Marie Fitzsimmons
Staff Writer

The month of April does a lot more than bring May flowers – it also raises awareness and support for autism. April is National Autism Awareness Month. This year marked the first World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. April gives Americans the hope and opportunity to increase awareness and raise funds to support millions of families affected my autism. As a nation this month and always, we must achieve understanding, compassion and support for autistic children and adults, as well as their families. We need to work together to overcome the misconceptions and fears that surround autism.

Marywood University is doing its part to raise autism awareness. According to Dr. Arter from the Special Education program, Marywood “is beginning a campus based autism transition program for students with autism ages 18-21 in fall of 2008 here on campus. The program will allow students with autism to participate with their age appropriate peers. Students will have a half day functional program and half day vocational training in various departments throughout campus.

“Marywood has partnered with the Educational Intermediate Unit (NEIU 19) to make this happen. It’s been a project we’ve been working on for a couple years now and it will finally begin,” said Dr. Arter.

There are also many national events going on during April to support National Autism Awareness Month. Chevrolet is teaming up with Autism Speaks for a month long promotion to help generate up to one million dollars for the non-profit organization. During April you can go online to the Autism Speaks website- and click on the icon “Help Chevy Help Autism” and watch the virtual tour video of the new 2008 Chevy Malibu. Every time a person watches the video Chevrolet will make another contribution to Autism Speaks. Chevrolet will also give you a free month of XM Radio Online for your time spent.

The Bachman Company has an edible campaign to help support Autism Speaks. They will donate 5 percent of their proceeds from the sale of their puzzle piece-shaped pretzels to Autism Speaks. The pretzels will be available in grocery stores in the Northeast and online at

Build-a-Bear is also raising funds for Autism Speaks by selling purple satin hearts to benefit the organization.

Show your appreciation by supporting these companies and stores that are raising funds to help the non-profit organization Autism Speaks.

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