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Event to highlight World Autism Awareness Day

The Childhood Language Center will host an open house for World Autism Awareness Day April 2, with a keynote presentation at noon at 406 Capitol Street.

Lunch, tours, giveaways and prize drawings will be provided to the community from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and the first 100 people wearing blue in the door will receive a blue light bulb from Home Depot, noted Executive Director Holly Martin. Blue is the color of autism awareness, and businesses and individuals can support the cause by displaying a blue light bulb or “lighting up blue” in April.

“We encourage our friends and neighbors downtown to help us Light It Up Blue on April 2,” Martin said. “In addition, we would like to invite the community to come out and see the work the Childhood Language Center does every day in support of the children of West Virginia with autism.”

This inaugural event, featuring a press conference at noon, along with lunch, tours and giveaways at the CLC from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., is expected to draw hundreds from the downtown Charleston community. 

Several Charleston landmarks will illuminate blue in April to help the CLC shine a light for autism awareness, including the Kanawha Boulevard East Bridge. A gallery of notable landmarks that “Light It Up Blue” for autism worldwide can be viewed at www.lightitupblue.org.

The CLC joins organizations worldwide on April 2 in “shining a light” on autism as the fastest growing disability in America, with one in 88 children diagnosed. The Childhood Language Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide critical services to children in West Virginia who have autism, Aspergers, speech and language challenges, and hearing impairments. The CLC provides all of its services to more than 90 children absolutely free of charge to the family, and consistently has about 20 children on its waiting list.

“Because of the significant cost of private therapy, many of the children we serve otherwise would not receive this much-needed intervention,” Martin said. “Even with recent insurance legislation, there remains a need for our services, as some families are uninsured, and others’ insurance only covers a portion of needed services.”

The April 2 event at the CLC is possible with the support of Lil’ Bit of Heaven Cupcakes, Charles Ryan Associates, B. Belle Event Planning, the Kanawha Valley Autism Support Group and the City of Charleston, with more sponsors to be announced.

To RSVP, contact the CLC at 304-342-7852 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.