With the number of individuals diagnosed with Autism increasing annually to now one in every sixty-eight children being diagnosed with Autism, Autism Speaks’ powerful message needs to be spread now more than ever.
For April, in recognition of Autism Awareness Month, Rock PRoductions welcomed Brett Spitale, Executive Director of Greater Pittsburgh’s Autism Speaks to help spread the message of his organization.
“The future has never been brighter, millions of families are being helped by our organization,” said Spitale.
Micaela Famiglietti, Rock PRoductions recruitment chair and liaison for the President’s Commission for Disability Issues said it is the aim of Rock PRoductions to not only recognize Autism Awareness month, but to also join efforts with students like Kline and faculty such as Miller to recognize organizations such as Autism Speaks for their efforts in spreading awareness and providing resources to those in need.
Katelynn Kline, a special education and elementary education major here at Slippery Rock, attended the event because she said that she feels very passionate about spreading Autism awareness.
“I think it is very important for not only students, but everyone else on campus to become more aware of autism. Someone with Autism is very unique and inspiring to be around, and I wish everyone had the opportunity to learn as much as they can about autism,” Kline said.
Dr. Marybeth Miller, co-chair of the President’s Commission for Disability Issues also attended the event.
“As co-chair of the President’s Commission for Disability Issues, advocacy for eliminating barriers and increasing greater awareness of individuals with intellectual, social-emotional and physical disabilities and what they can do is central to the university’ vision and mission. Autism awareness is a global initiative and Slippery Rock University’s vision is to excel as a caring community of lifelong learners connecting with the world,” stated Miller.
Spitale told the students that creating awareness is the pillar of Autism Speaks, and that college students are the heart and soul as well as the future of the Autism Speaks organization.