This week, the iconic Parkes Radio Telescope will join a host of significant buildings and landmarks across the world being lit up for 'Light It Up Blue For Autism'.
The Currajong Autism and Special Needs Group (Currajong Disability Services sub-committee), in conjunction with Parkes Shire Council, have worked with CSIRO to light up the local landmark to raise awareness about the condition as part of World Autism Awareness Month.
It will join a host of iconic structures across the world to be lit blue throughout April, such as the Whitehouse and Rockefeller Centre in the United States, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, the Ancient City of Petra in Jordan and the Opera House in Sydney.
Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith OAM extended a big thank you to CSIRO for their support in making this happen for such an important occasion.
“It is wonderful and we cannot wait to see our iconic Dish lit blue for the first time,” Cr Keith said.
The Parkes Radio Telescope will turn blue at 6pm this Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings for several hours.
Currajong Disability Services CEO, Mr Jeffrey Evans said Autism is a lifelong neuro-developmental condition that affects, among other things, the way an individual relates to his or her environment and their interaction with others.
“The word 'spectrum' describes the range of difficulties that people on the autism spectrum may experience and the degree to which they may be affected,” Mr Evans said.
“Some people may be able to live relatively normal lives, while others may have accompanying learning challenges and require continued specialist support.
The main areas of difficulty are in social communication, social interaction and restricted or repetitive behaviours and interests.
According to Autism Spectrum Australia, an estimated one in 100 people has autism, which is almost 230,000 Australians.
Autism affects almost four times as many boys than girls.
The Currajong Autism and Special Needs Group are working alongside Currajong Disability Services to heighten awareness of and provide services to individuals with special needs of all ages.