USC, in partnership with Autism Speaks U, lit the globe on top of the Von KleinSmid Center blue to recognize World Autism Awareness Day on Monday.
Rachael Caulker, marketing chair for USC’s Autism Speaks U, said she hopes the event encourages students to inform themselves about autism.
“Light It Up Blue is a global event that seeks to shine a light on autism as a growing health problem,” Caulker said. “The VKC globe is notable, and our goal is to have people ask why it is blue and then build awareness that way.”
In its third year, Light It Up Blue encourages people to raise awareness about autism by lighting up buildings blue
USC Autism Speaks U, founded this year, is dedicated to funding global biomedical research for the prevention, treatments and cure for autism. It is also committed to increasing public awareness and providing hope for those who suffer with the disorder, Caulker said.
“We want people to be aware and become educated about the early traits of autism,” Caulker said. “If you treat it early, it could be less severe because children can get the rigorous treatment and therapy they need at an early age,” Caulker said.
Autism is a developmental brain disorder that impairs one’s ability to communicate, form relationships and interact socially.
The Center for Disease Control recently reported that 1 in 88 children are affected by autism, and boys are four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with the disease.
The study also reported that more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than those diagnosed with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined. There is no current medical detection or cure for the disorder.