Students and faculty at Roosevelt School in River Edge donned blue on Tuesday to "Light It Up Blue" for World Autism Awareness Day and help shine a light on autism for the second year in a row.
The day also had an added special meaning this year as 10-year-old Jack DeSavino accepted a proclamation from Mayor Sandy Moscaritolo and the borough council on Monday night. The proclamation declared April 2013 as National Autism Awareness Month.
DeSavino, who is on the autistic spectrum, also raised awareness of autism last month when he asked guests to donate to Autism New Jersey instead of bringing gifts to his birthday party.
Approximately 100 children and their parents from both River Edge and Oradell attended the celebration at Powerhouse Studios in Paramus.
According to Autism New Jersey, children and adults with autism exhibit atypical, repetitive behaviors and deficits in social and communication skills. Autism is usually diagnosed during the first three years of life and is four to five times more prevalent in boys than in girls.
Among some of the associated features of an autistic child or adult are: little or no eye contact, uneven development of skills, resistance to changes in routinem lack of demonstration of typical signs of affection, inappropriate laughing or crying or attachment to objects, aggressive or self-injurious behavior, or savant abilities (present in less than 2% of individuals diagnosed with autism).