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Autism Awareness Month Offers FUN Festivities, More Blue

Published: April 22, 2019 at 06:00 am

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Have you noticed a number of local buildings and businesses bathed in blue light during recent evenings traveling around Newtown?

Families United in Newtown (FUN) founder Linda Jones and her volunteer students from the Newtown High School National Honors Society have been successful in promoting Autism Awareness Month in April and World Autism Awareness Day, which happened on April 2.

The local grassroots autism support group also hosted one of its most well-attended monthly meetings April 7, where more than two dozen young people on the spectrum along with parents, grandparents, and siblings mixed with FUN volunteers.

The Sunday afternoon gathering at the United Methodist Church in Sandy Hook offered Easter-related crafts, card-making, desserts, refreshments, DJ dancing, and an egg hunt.

“We’re getting such great support this year,” Ms Jones told The Newtown Bee.

She said the following businesses in Newtown joined in the Autism Awareness Month awareness campaign:

*Bagel Delight (blue light in the store and is selling blue bagels during the month of April, as well as selling items for the month — blue puzzle piece pins, etc);

*Butchers Best (lit up blue and selling items for Autism Awareness Month);

*Edmond Town Hall (blue lights on the hall and displaying FUN’s “Solve the Puzzle” Banner on the front of the building);

*The Newtown Bee;

*Newtown Congregational Church (lit up blue again this year);

*First Selectman Dan Rosenthal (wearing an Autism Awareness puzzle piece pin every day during April);

*Newtown Lions Club (makes an annual donation to FUN);

*Newtown Savings Bank (lit up blue at 39 Main Street headquarters);

*Newtown United Methodist Church (lit up blue again this year and the congregation supported buying T-shirts, puzzle pieces, and chocolates);

*Pemberely Designer Consignment in Monroe (Lit up blue and selling autism items);

*Queen Street Gifts (lit up blue and selling Autism items);

*Holy Cow Ice Cream store (making blue ice cream to promote autism awareness).

Families United in Newtown and NHS Honors Society students are also selling items like chocolates, pins, magnets, and a limited supply of custom designed T-shirts. The goal is to earn $1,000 for autism brain research being conducted by Dr Margaret Bauman.

The Boston University School of Medicine identifies Dr Bauman as a distinguished pediatric neurologist and research investigator who has been a pioneer in the study and treatment of autism for more than 25 years. One of the world’s foremost physicians in this field, she is highly respected for the outstanding clinical care she provides as well as for her research and teachings in the domain of developmental disorders.

Dr Bauman’s dedicated career is best exemplified in her establishment and development of The Autism Research Foundation (TARF), The Autism Research Consortium (TARC), The Lurie Center for Autism, and The Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

Ms Jones said proceeds designated for the research will be presented to Dr Bauman at the Annual FUN Benefit Concert on June 8.

Anyone with a child or teen on the spectrum is invited to attend any FUN activities, which are generally held monthly during the school year. The group’s next meeting is scheduled for May 11 — time and location TBA.

For information, e-mail lindajones9763@sbcglobal.net or check the FUN Facebook page or website at familiesunitedinnewtown.org.

For Autism Month information, details, and data, visit autismspeaks.org.

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