Both labor and management in the St. Louis design and construction industry are adding their support to World Autism Awareness Day on Monday April 2, 2018. As in previous years, the St. Louis chapter of Autism Speaks has engaged the building industry to help light buildings and landmarks blue. HOK and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 are both illuminating their offices in blue. The Illuminating Engineers Society of St. Louis has also been engaged in the effort. Hundreds of buildings and landmarks worldwide will be lit blue for World Autism Awareness Day through the coordination of Autism Speaks. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism is diagnosed in one out of 68 children, one out of 42 boys.
“Our theme this year is ‘understanding and acceptance’ as the past 18 years of research, much of it conducted in St. Louis, has broadened our understanding of the autism spectrum,” said Steve Houston, board member of Autism Speaks and father of a son with autism. “For the last several years, the St. Louis design and construction industry has helped Autism Speaks symbolically connect for those on the spectrum to advance that understanding and acceptance. We are grateful for their assistance.”
In addition to HOK and IBEW Local 1 offices, SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, the Lumiere Place Casino and Hotels, James S. McDonnell Planetarium, United Services in St. Peters, Mo. and other structures will be illuminated in blue. KSDK-TV will further awareness by wearing blue and Autism Speaks pins during its news broadcasts.
Businesses and civic organizations interested in lighting their structures blue can visit the Autism Speaks web site for information on blue filters at https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2013/03/01/light-it-blue-rosco-color-filters
A gallery of beautifully lit structures in past years can be found at the St. Louis Chapter Autism Speaks Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153750884914115.1073741843.89272979114&type=1
In addition to lighting St. Louis blue, many in the community will be wearing blue clothing or displaying the color blue in some way. To learn more on how to participate, visit www.autismspeaks.org call the St. Louis Chapter of Autism Speaks at 314-989-1003.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. The CDC has called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown. For more information, visit www.autismspeaks.org.