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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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News and Events
News and Events

Division “Lights It Up Blue” for World Autism Awareness Day
April 1, 2012

Associations and Bodies Autism Clinical Events Research

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On April 2, the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy homepage “lights it up blue” in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD). The goal of WAAD is to bring the world’s attention to autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD), neurodevelopmental disorders recently estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to affect 1 in 88 children — a 1000 percent increase in the past 40 years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.

Light It Up Blue, now in its third year, is a unique global initiative by Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism advocacy organization, to help raise awareness about the growing public health concern that is autism. Iconic landmarks around the world will Light It Up Blue to show their support on April 2, 2012.

The USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy has previously partnered with Autism Speaks to offer an Innovative Technology for Autism Spectrum Disorders course instructed by Olga Solomon PhD, assistant professor.

Division programming concerning autism and ASD include Sensory Adapted Dental Environments research, advanced training in sensory integration theory and intervention, and the Sensory Integration, Engagement and Family Life Initiative recently announced at the 2012 Occupational Science Symposium: Autism in Everyday Life.

Autism Speaks U USC will also shine a light on autism with events throughout the day. Free treats are available from 10am-2pm on Trousdale Parkway to everyone who wears blue in support of autism. The club will also be providing information about the 10th Annual LA Walk for Autism and Autism Resource Fair, as well as other information about autism. Starting at 7pm, USC’s iconic VKC Globe will also be lit blue in support of autism! Learn more about Autism Speaks U USC’s plans for the day on their Facebook event page.

The focus of Occupational Therapy services with individuals with autism and ASD includes enhancing participation in the performance of activities of daily living (e.g., feeding, dressing), instrumental activities of daily living (e.g., community mobility, safety procedures), education, work, leisure, play, and social participation. For an individual with an ASD, occupational therapy services are defined according to the person’s needs and desired goals and priorities for participation. Learn more about occupational therapy’s role with autism by visiting American Occupational Therapy Association Autism Resources.