City went blue for autism

Mirjeta Godaj, a teacher at the Community Renewal Team’s Head Start Center on South St., Bristol, reads a story about differences and acceptance on World Autism Awareness Day. Two Bristol Head Start Centers participated in the ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign, and encouraged children to understand that everyone is unique and special.

Mirjeta Godaj, a teacher at the Community Renewal Team’s Head Start Center on South St., Bristol, reads a story about differences and acceptance on World Autism Awareness Day. Two Bristol Head Start Centers participated in the ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign, and encouraged children to understand that everyone is unique and special.

On Wednesday, April 6, the preschool children in Community Renewal Team’s Bristol Head Start program participated in “Going Blue for Autism” in honor of World Autism Awareness Day. There were blue tee shirts, blue stickers, blue art projects, blue playdough … and even a few teachers with dyed-blue hair. Children heard stories about friends who are wonderful and different. The overall theme was that each child is unique – it takes everyone together to make the puzzle complete.

The “Go Blue” campaign began in Australia, and has spread around the world. In the US, the Center for Disease Control estimates that about 1 child in 68 has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). About 1 in 6 has a developmental disability of some type, according to the CDC.

“We all know someone who moves or learns differently than we do,” said Emilie Montgomery, the director of CRT’s Early Care and Education programs in a press release. “We should help children to honor and value these differences.”