Autism Awareness Day & Month - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Autism Awareness Day & Month

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Updated Story 5:30pm:

April is Autism Awareness Month and this Wednesday is ‘Light It Up Blue'. It's a global event which has people wear, and light up their house or business, the color blue to promote awareness for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Valley News Team's Ashley Bishop explains how Autism awareness has changed, and what else is needed to help families with autistic children.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is more recognized now, mainly because of awareness and early diagnosis.  Autism affects more than two million people in the United States, and new study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 1 in 68 children are identified as Autistic.

That number has changed drastically since 2000, when 1 in 150 children were identified as Autistic.

Valley News Live spoke with some people in the community of Autism who say more can still be done to help families living with Autism.

"When I talk about autism everyone reverts to Rain Man" says North Dakota Autism Center Director Darcy Kasprowicz with a slight smile.

Despite that connection, Darcy is thankful society is more aware of Autism now than in the past.

"You couldn't test it before a certain age, or people didn't understand what it was, and it was lumped under other disabilities and title." Darcy explains.

Now children can be diagnosed much earlier than ever before, but Darcy says more can still be done, especially when it comes to funding. A child with Autism cost $60,000 more to raise than a child without the disorder.

"There is little state funding, and no federal funding" Darcy says disappointed.

Although little funding is provided to families, awareness and support comes first to some parents.  

"We have had Autism for 7 years," says Jamie Duray a mother with two Autistic children, "you tend to surround yourself with people who are supportive and understand you and where your coming from." 

Being a mother of two Autistic children, Jamie says society can only keep improving by making sure parents know the signs of Autism.

"You look back and think what would my life be like, but I don't do that." Jamie says with a smile. "I wouldn't change them for the world."

Wednesday night at 7:30pm the North Dakota Autism Center is holding it's ‘Light It Up Blue' event to bring awareness to the F-M area.

They're lighting up the center blue and encourage people to stop by 647 13th Avenue East in West Fargo. If you can't make it to the event you can still participate by turning a blue light on at your own home.


Original Story:

April 2, 2014 the North Dakota Autism Center is hosting a "Light it Up Blue" event tonight at their building.

Their Building is located at 647 13 Ave East, West Fargo, ND.

At 7:30 p.m. the group will gather and prepare to flip the switch that will light the building Blue in honor of World Autism Day. 

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