Amid pandemic restrictions, Anderson Center for Autism poised to honor annual Autism Awareness tradition
STAATSBURG — Anderson Center for Autism announced that despite its large spring events being postponed due to the pandemic, the organization intends to honor Autism Awareness Month in a variety of ways throughout April again this year. Among other activities designated to heighten awareness of autism, Anderson’s annual partnership with Mill House Brewery in Poughkeepsie is now being organized. The event, which runs through the month of April, involves the sale of a signature craft beer called Mr. Anderson Ale. Proceeds of sales benefit Anderson’s programs and services. In addition, Anderson staff are encouraging the community to “Light it up Blue,” asking locals to consider wearing blue or illuminating residences and places of work on April 2nd, which is World Autism Day. Landmarks in all corners of the globe shine blue-colored lights on that day to signify a commitment to autism awareness, and the team at Anderson Center for Autism are currently working with local organizations to request participation in this worldwide movement as well this year. On top of these events are efforts by Anderson Center for Autism to provide training that leads to new communities and businesses being deemed “Autism Supportive” as the Village of Rhinebeck did last year. The organization is also working with SUNY Empire State College to provide the consultation and training needed for it to become the first-of-its-kind Autism Supportive College. Said Patrick Paul, CEO and Executive Director of Anderson, “With incidence rates so high, and autism impacting people in every country all over the world, most of us understand our shared responsibility to this population. If we each take the simplest of steps, we can make a meaningful collective impact. Ultimately, we can build an inclusive culture of compassion, which then empowers people with autism to share their unique qualities, find meaningful work, enjoy a sense of purpose, and really shine. At this point, most of us know someone who has been diagnosed - we are really ALL part of the autism community. The more mindful we can be, the more everyone has to gain.” Added Dr. Tina Covington, Chief Operating Officer at Anderson: “It’s often been said that ‘if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism’ because every individual is so unique! In some cases, you may not even notice that a person has autism because it is so mild and he or she may lead a very typical life. For others, the inability to communicate will require ongoing residential and vocational support." Through its educational, vocational, and residential programs, Anderson works to carry out its mission of “optimizing the quality of life for people with autism.” Eliza Bozenski, Chief Development Officer for Anderson Foundation for Autism, noted: “Although we will miss our traditional events again this spring, we want to build momentum around our cause. World Autism Day and Autism Awareness Month help remind people that all of us can take small steps to make big differences in the lives of people with autism and their families." Visit https://www.andersoncenterforautism.org/Awareness to learn more, or call 845-889-9208 to get involved.