Crazy Horse shines light on autism
April is Autism Awareness Month. Crazy Horse Memorial, the world’s largest sculpture in progress, will become a colossal beacon for the educational effort from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, during the “Light It Up Blue” promotion of United Nation’s World Autism Awareness Day.
The nonprofit Memorial, which is dedicated to honoring and preserving Native American cultures, is on U.S. Highway 16-385 between Custer and Hill City. The museum and food service areas will close at 5 p.m. However, the visitor parking area and the mountain carving viewing deck will be open for you to see Tuesday night’s special lighting. Admission will be free and donations of money or 3 cans of food per person will be accepted for the KOTA Care & Share Food Drive to help those served by the Feeding South Dakota food bank.
“Light It Up Blue” and other special activities support those currently afflicted with Autism Spectrum Disorders and point out the need for more research into ASD.
The developmental impairments (autism, Rett syndrome and Asperger syndrome, among others) affect brain functions for life. ASD cases, from mild to severe, cross all ethnic, regional and economic lines.
The Autism Speaks advocacy organization says ASD afflicts five times more boys than girls and 1 in 88 children in America. The number could be higher, possibly 1 in 50 school-age youngsters, according to a recent survey.
ASD can produce physical health issues and cause problems with balance, behavior, speech and understanding others. The symptoms usually emerge early, typically becoming noticeable in toddlers before age three. Experts say early detection and therapy can help a child’s lifetime abilities.
Click here for details about regional autism support groups and the April 2 Light It Up Blue event.