COLUMBUS, Miss.— Speech-language pathology students will bring more blue to campus to raise awareness for autism Thursday, April 6.

As part of National Autism Awareness Month, seniors Elizabeth King, Courtney Walden and Alyka Williams will spend the afternoon visiting offices around campus sharing prevalent facts about autism with faculty, staff and students.

“We are advocating for those who may not always be able to express themselves,” explained Walden.

The students are also joining with the national Light It Up Blue campaign. The nonprofit organization Autism Speaks celebrates Light It Up Blue with autism-friendly events and educational activities to increase understanding and acceptance and further support people with autism.

Along with autism information, the students will share blueberry muffins and blue awareness bracelets with the offices that they visit.

“We want to everyone to know that autism doesn’t define a person. Some of our most famous people are on the spectrum,” said Williams. “Autism doesn’t limit or define."

The students will be accompanied by speech-language pathology instructor Monica Johnson.

According to Johnson, speech-language professionals are often the first to notice the sometimes subtle signs of autism.

“The biggest question for families is often what is next,” said Johnson. “We want families to know that there is support and we want to raise awareness for that support.”

Johnson also advises that if you suspect your child demonstrates signs of autism, contact your health care provider.

All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to wear blue Thursday, April 6 to raise awareness for autism and share to social media with #Wlightitupblue.

National Autism Day was observed Sunday, April 2.

April 4, 2017
Contact: Tyler Wheat
(662) 241-7863
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