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Sorority shines a blue light on autism
autism pic1
Sisters from Alpha Xi Delta sorority stand in front of Safeway to raise awareness for autism in honor of World Autism Awareness Day on Tuesday. - photo by NANCY ANGEL / The Journal

More than 7,000 landmarks and buildings around the globe were bathed last night in blue in honor of World Autism Awareness Day.  For six years, autism organizations around the world have marked the day with fundraising and informational events to raise awareness of the development disorder and the need for research.

Hard at work in raising awareness, are the women of Alpha Xi Delta sorority from California State University, Stanislaus. For the past week, the sisters of Alpha Xi Delta have passed out blue light bulbs to households in the Festival Housing Community, whose family members have been personally affected by autism.

“We handed out these bulbs to show our support and encourage them to keep their blue light bulbs on in honor of World Autism Awareness Day,” said public relations chair Joellen Reece.

On Tuesday, dozens of sisters stood in front of Safeway handing out fliers, passing out blue ribbons, and raising money for the organization Autism Speaks.

Until fairly recently, autism was a relatively unknown disorder by the general public. A need for awareness still persists, said the sorority members, despite the fact that the medical community is diagnosing more and more cases of autism spectrum disorder. There is a wide range of conditions across the spectrum, ranging from mild to severe forms of the disorder. It is estimated that one in every 88 children suffer from some form of ASD.

“Through the Alpha Xi Delta’s partnership with Autism Speaks, we hope our fundraising and awareness efforts can help put more pieces of the autism puzzle in place,” said Reece.