For the second consecutive year, the City of Danbury joined the autism awareness movement, and on April 2, 2018 at 7:00pm, Danbury City Hall was lit up in blue, shining a light on autism in honor of World Autism Month.
The Light Up ceremony was organized by Emanuela Palmares and sponsored by David Parks, owner of Spin Doctor Entertainment, who graciously donated his services and equipment, with the support of the City of Danbury and the Commission for Persons with DisAbilities.
“Autism affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys; my 5-year-old son Caio, is one of them. We started our journey down the autism road with early intervention. He was diagnosed at age 2, and has received autism intervention services since and made incredible gains in some areas,” said Emanuela adding, “That is why raising ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder] awareness is so important; encouraging early detection and intervention, acceptance and understanding can in the long run improve the quality of life of all individuals in the spectrum, no matter what age.”
The event featured inspirational speeches, the lighting ceremony and musical performances by GAFFA Brazilian Folklore Music Troupe, Danbury’s very own Dawn Tallman, who recently reached the #1 spot in the Billboard Dance Charts, and Gabby D’Ostilio, a senior at DHS and a member of the Madrigals, and Simon Vu, Danbury High School Alumna and a student at Columbia College – in Chicago.
The ceremony also honored a business that has made a difference in the ASD community in Danbury. This year’s honoree was Danbury AMC Theatres for providing the “Sensory Friendly Films” program to the community.
Light Up City Hall Blue for Autism Awareness Ceremony was a sensory friendly event featuring a lower sound level, welcoming attendees in the spectrum to feel free to talk and walk around. The audience was asked not to clap, and there was a designated quiet area and noise-canceling earmuffs available.