The “Friendliest Campus in the South” recently became the bluest campus as students organized special events to commemorate the annual global Autism Awareness campaign.
Representatives for the JSU Autism Center noted that students, like the sorority members, raised an estimated $1,000 to illuminate the top floor of Houston Cole library with blue lights for the weekend.
Alpha Xi Delta organized their own philanthropic event to generate awareness for both the global campaign and Autism Speaks. The all-female group ran their second annual Taco Xi on the square in Jacksonville Saturday, April 2.
Valerie Wheat, Center for Autism Studies assistant director, cares for a teenage autistic relative of her own.
“I had a nephew that was born with autism,” she said, “Of course I didn’t know it, however, I discovered that some parents with autistic children somewhat go through a grieving process because you grieve ‘the dream’ that you naturally have for your children. Denial is one of the first stages.”
Wheat said that the typical perception of a parent and their autistic offspring is often linked with ‘bad parenting.’ She hopes to diminish the assumption with additional undergraduate students majoring per Curriculum/Life Studies; especially with blooming knowledge of an autistic center set to open this summer.