Council ‘lights it up blue’ to mark World Autism Day

LISBURN City Council has marked World Autism Awareness Day by participating in Autism NI’s ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign to raise awareness of autism in Northern Ireland.

Many iconic landmarks throughout the UK and the rest of the world were also lit up in blue on Monday to raise awareness of this social and communication disability. These include The Rockefeller Centre in New York, the Tokyo Tower in Japan, Canada’s CN Tower, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and Michigan’s Mackinac Bridge.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. It is a spectrum condition, which means that while all people with Autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways.

Councillor Stephen Martin, Chairman of the Corporate Services Committee, said the Council was delighted to support and raise awareness of the condition.

“There are 20,000 people diagnosed with Autism in NI today” he said. “Each one of these people has a family which also lives with the effects of this lifelong condition. By raising awareness such as events like World Autism Awareness Day, we can encourage better understanding and support for all those living with Autism,” said Mr Martin.

Autism NI’s Chief Executive, Arlene Cassidy commented: “It is vital that awareness is raised throughout Northern Ireland in relation to Autism, especially within the local community as there is still a lot of misunderstanding and ignorance in relation to Autism Spectrum Disorder. By holding an event such as this, Lisburn City Council has helped to highlight this ‘hidden disability’ and give those affected the recognition they deserve.’

For more information on the ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign or Autism NI’s services contact Shirley Hall at Autism NI on 9040 1729 or email [email protected]