March 14, 2016 -- April is Autism Awareness month, and the Institute for Behavioral Studies of the Van Loan School at Endicott College will be coordinating activities on-campus throughout the month to raise awareness and engagement in this growing health concern. 

Starting on April 1, Endicott College will participate in the “Light It Up Blue” campaign. The phrase “Light It Up Blue” was adopted by the United Nations to shine a bright light on autism each year as a health priority. If you stroll the Endicott college grounds any time during the month, you’ll see blue lights around campus, blue cookies in the cafeteria, and blue puzzle-piece informational posters, all in honor of the millions of individuals and families affected by autism. The activities are being organized by the college’s new student Autism Awareness Organization. 

The second activity will occur on Saturday, April 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (EST) at Endicott’s Rose Hall at the Manninen Center, 376 Hale Street in Beverly, MA. Van Loan’s Institute for Behavioral Studies will host the FREE Annual Parent Autism Conference for parents of children diagnosed with autism. The event will include workshops and a keynote presentation by Mary Jane Weiss, PhD, BCBA-D, Van Loan ABA-Autism program director, who is recognized as a national leader and presenter in the field of autism and ABA. She has written numerous articles and four books on autism, and serves on multiple autism/ABA-related boards and committees.  To register for the event, visit http://autismconferenceendicottcollege.eventbrite.com 

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition that affects individuals’ ability to communicate and interact socially. The rate of ASD is increasing across the country, with approximately one in 68 children affected by this disability. 

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