April is National Autism Awareness Month! One of the ways the Carmen B. Pingree Autism Center of Learning celebrates is with our annual Do Your Blue campaign. Do Your Blue has two functions; to raise awareness of autism and to raise scholarship money to help children receive evidence-based treatment at the Pingree Center.
The Prevalence of Autism
In Utah, 1 in 58 people are diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. With such a high prevalence of autism in our community, nearly everyone has been affected by it in some way. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma around autism which often prevents parents from getting their children the diagnosis and treatment they need.
By spreading information and awareness during National Autism Month, we can fight to remove this stigma and make our community more welcoming to families affected by autism. It’s important to raise awareness within our community so we can better understand autism and create a strong local community.
Change a Life
It is critical for families to seek out evidence-based treatment for Autism, the most effective treatment being Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). If children receive appropriate ABA treatment, research indicates there are significant improvements in lifelong outcomes in the areas of academics, cognitive abilities, language, social skills, and daily living skills. This type of treatment is very expensive due to the resources needed to effectively provide ABA.
Scholarships are such a vital component of the Pingree Center because many families cannot afford the cost of ABA treatment without assistance. By donating to the Do Your Blue campaign, you will also be providing scholarships to families and helping positively change lives.
Imagine knowing that your donation helped a child learn to speak and say, “I love you” to their parents for the first time. What an amazing opportunity to help not only a child, but a whole family.
How to Get Involved
Over the past five years, the outstanding support of our community has turned Do Your Blue into a unique and impactful event. Our campaign is designed to ‘streak blue across Utah’ to spread awareness about the cause. There are lots of ways to get involved:
Streak Your Hair
You can visit a number of local salons to get a temporary blue hair extension, no appointment necessary! View participating salons here.
Buy a Treat
A few of our local partners have created special blue drinks and treats for Autism Awareness Month. Visit Swig for a blue frosted sugar cookie, Dough Co. for their “Cookie Monster”, Darla’s Donuts for a blue donut, or Sugar House Coffee for their “Blue your Brew” drink.
By donating to the campaign, you can get blue hair extensions, a t-shirt, a water bottle, a pin, or a wristband. It is a great conversation starter about why you have a blue hair extension or what your shirt or wristband is for. It provides an opportunity to talk about autism and raise awareness within your own community. Any size donation will help.
Want to get more involved with working with individuals with autism? The Pingree Center is always looking for dedicated, caring individuals to join our team. We have autism volunteer opportunities, internships, and careers available.