The Daily Tribune: Blue lights in Royal Oak Brighten Bring Autism to Light Effort

04/07/2017 - 9:45am

Hundreds of homes, city buildings, schools and some businesses in Royal Oak are glowing blue for Autism Awareness Month. The incandescent effort is part of a campaign the city has joined in for the non-profit Judson Center at 4410 W. 13 Mile Road.   Called “Bring Autism to Light,” supporters have made donations and so far gotten more than 400 blue light bulbs, along with yard signs, from the Judson Center and at City Hall, fire stations and the public library.  Medical professionals estimate that autism affects one in every 68 children nationwide and more than 50,000 in Michigan.

We want to bring awareness -- and action -- to what’s going on,” said Erika Jones a spokeswoman for the Judson Center. “We’ve seen a great outpouring of support.”  Locally, help is available for children and families at the Judson Center, which offers programs through it’s Autism Connection services. They have counseling and family support, applied behavioral analysis and social skills groups.

Information from the center indicates that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and autism are complex disorders of brain development. The disorder is far more common in boys than girls, and is unaffected by racial, ethnic, socio-economic, lifestyle, or educational factors. 

Because there is a wide array of symptoms and characteristics with ASD and varying degrees of severity, autism is now referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Early intervention is important in treating the disorder, Jones said.  

“When a child is diagnosed it affects siblings and parents, too,” she said. “With Bring Autism to Light we hope to create a dialogue of understanding and acceptance.”

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Due to the nature of the work we do, Judson Center upholds the privacy of the children, adults and families we serve. Therefore, photos and names may be changed to protect identity.