By K. David Weidner, Ph.D., Executive Director
For the second year, the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum (PMPM) will join iconic landmarks worldwide as we “Light It Up Blue” throughout April for World Autism Month. Our hope is to turn the Monument into a beacon that will shine light on this growing health issue and generate further support for the individuals and families it impacts.
The annual “Light It Up Blue” campaign was introduced in 2010 by Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism science and advocacy organization. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 54 children had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder by age 8 in 2016, a nearly 10% increase over 2014. The condition can cause issues related to social skills, behavior, speech and nonverbal communication.
The inspiration for our getting involved came from close to home. Truro’s Amy Rogers, whose 17 year old daughter Anna has autism, began putting blue lights on a lamppost outside her home a few years ago. The effort quickly grew and perfectly matched our mission of acceptance and inclusion, so our Board of Directors were eager to join.
Amy has lit buildings like the Truro Police Station and Town Library. She’s also created a Facebook page designated to increase autism awareness, Light Up Blue Truro. The team behind Amy in the lighting of the Monument included her husband, Michael Rogers, and Chris Racine, operations manager and DJ at Provincetown’s famed Crown & Anchor.
As Board President, Courtney Hurst recently noted, “This community has always gained strength by accepting and helping others. The Monument is a symbol of our Town, and if it can be used to bring additional support – particularly during these challenging times – then we’re honored to participate.”
Click here to learn more about Autism Speaks and the ways you can support World Autism Month.