Shining a light on autism, New Jersey's First Lady Mary Pat Christie announced today that historic Drumthwacket (The Governor's mansion) will Light It Up Blue for the entire month of April in recognition of Autism Awareness Month. Autism is a new initiative undertaken by Mrs. Christie. Throughout the month of April, she will be highlighting the innovative work being done by organizations in New Jersey to serve people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and to bring greater understanding of the developmental disability.
“New Jersey outpaces other states when it comes to children diagnosed with autism,” said Mrs. Christie. “As more families become affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder, it’s important to show our support by promoting increased awareness of the issue.”
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a broad group of disorders that vary from mild to severe and are characterized by difficulty with social interaction, communication, severely limited interests and repetitive behaviors. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is estimated that autism occurs in 1 out of every 110 births nationwide. In New Jersey, the prevalence rate is reported to be 1 in 94.
Prominent buildings across the United States and North America, including the Empire State Building, are participating in the Light It Up Blue campaign and will turn their lights blue on April 1 to promote autism awareness as well as on April 2 to commemorate World Autism Day.
More information about autism can be found at www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/newborn/autism.shtml and www.state.nj.us/humanservices/ddd.