EDISON, NJ - The Parents of Edison's Awesome Children celebrated World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.
In keeping with the popular Light It Up Blue campaign, parents, siblings, teachers and friends displayed their support for those living with autism with the colorful sentiment "Give a Hoot for Autism Awareness".
In New Jersey, 1 in 45 children have autism, a higher rate than the national estimate of 1 in 68.
PEACH is an informal forum for families to share information about resources, school events, advocacy and treatments or simply to support each other.
Last fall PEACH sponsored a trip to a Disney musical show at the State Theater in New Brunswick. The Martin Luther King School’s autism awareness walk provided the funds for the children’s tickets.
Some parents noted that they had been reluctant to bring their child with autism to a live performance, but the PEACH outing gave them that opportunity.
PEACH has also worked with the Edison Public Library to purchase reference materials about special needs.
The support group PEACH NJ, for families of children with any special needs, can be found on Facebook or on Yahoogroups.
Many parents and residents in Edison are active in autism issues, including these:
ASPEN - the Asperger Autism Spectrum Education Network - a national non-profit organization was founded by Edison resident Lori Shery.
The Garlatti family spearheaded the annual Baseball Autism Awareness Challenge, now in its 8th year, in which area high schools compete while wearing awareness shirts. The players learn about the condition and are then encouraged to make a difference in their communities in ways like volunteering as “Buddies” to disabled children in Buddy Ball sports.
The Garlattis went on to create the Teamwork Unlimited Foundation, whose mission is "to promote Acceptance, Awareness & Understanding of people with special needs, through the great game of baseball and other activities.”
Eddie Lin, a junior at Edison High School, creates amazing balloon figures, as seen in his Ausome Balloon Creator page. He will be featured as the Autism Ambassador of the Week by Autism New Jersey, the statewide advocacy and referral agency.