COLUMBUS, Miss. —Senior speech-language pathology students will go blue to raise awareness for autism on campus Tuesday, April 9.

Four senior speech-pathology students will visit campus offices to share autism facts and signs about National Autism Awareness Month, pass out blue bracelets and blueberry muffins.

“They may not have a voice or communicate. It’s our job to communicate for them,” said senior Brianna Barrett, senior W student.

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.

Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the United States. One in 68 children suffer from autism with the higher rate found in boys. The average cost of autism for one family is $60,000 annually.

Children on the autism spectrum vary greatly. Some may be completely nonverbal and exhibit limited to no eye contact while others may be very verbal while demonstrating poor social skills. One may also notice fixation on specific topics or objects, as well as repetitive motions such as hand flapping and/or rocking.

“Be aware of their triggers and boundaries. Don’t be afraid to ask them how you can respect their boundaries,” suggested Tiffany Bowman, instructor for the department of Speech-Language Pathology.

If you suspect your child demonstrates signs of autism, contact your healthcare provider or The W Speech and Hearing Center.

National Autism Day was observed Monday, April 2.

Immediate Release
April 9, 2017