Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Friday is Autism Awareness Night

If you saw the BU/RPI game a couple of weeks ago, you may have noticed a blue puzzle piece on the Terriers' jersey. It certainly looked a little out of place on BU's classing white and red uniforms, but it has a very special meaning - the Terriers are wearing the patch all year long in promotion of Autism Speaks, the world's largest autism advocacy organization.

This coming Friday, the men's team will take on Colgate in RPI's first Autism Awareness Game. The event is being put on not only to increase understanding of autism among the general public, but also to create an atmosphere more comfortable for children with autism to be able to enjoy the game.

* There will be no music played during the contest.
* The video board will not play any flashing displays
* The goal horn will not be used when the Engineers score
* The PA announcer will be more muted than usual

In honor of autism awareness, the spotlights for the pregame starting lineups will use blue bulbs, and fans are encouraged to wear blue in honor of autism awareness. Chuck-a-Puck proceeds will go to the Albany Autism Society, and there will be plenty of information about the disorder.

What do you know about autism? There's plenty that you should know.

* Autism is a 'spectrum' disorder, which means there's no perfect example of an autistic person
* Autism affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys
* Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the US
* Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
* Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
* There is no medical detection or cure for autism

Chances are pretty good that you or someone you know has regular interaction with an autistic person - my 11-year-old cousin has autism. So put away the red, break out the blue, and come support a worthy cause this coming Friday at the Field House.

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