Lighting it up blue for World Autism Day

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CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

April is Autism Awareness Month, and Thursday, April 2 is World Autism Day.

Nearly one in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to estimates from CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.

Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events. People around the world are wearing blue Thursday to raise awareness.

And thousands of iconic landmarks, communities, businesses and homes across the globe are shining bright blue lights in honor of the millions of individuals and families around the world affected by autism.

Bruce Haffner in the Penguin Air News Chopper saw some examples of this in his travels Thursday morning. He flew over a Pieceful Solutions Autism School near Alma School and Warner where students showed their spirit by forming a giant human blue ribbon.The school was also lit up with blue laser beams. The lights were donated by Sparkle Magic.

Later, we sent 3TV's own Heidi Goitia on the ground to visit the school and see what else was happening on this special day. We found kids in the kitchen, baking goodies for their fundraising bake sale. Proceeds go back to the school to support Autism Awareness. 

Pieceful Solutions is a K-12th charter school created specifically to offer children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities a comprehensive program using innovative teaching techniques.

Administrators work cooperatively with students and parents to set, plan for and achieve goals that focus on academics, social, emotional development and life skills.

"Everyone has differences," says school director Kami Cothrun."Just be accepting of everybody."

Pieceful Solutions is the first and longest-running school specifically for Autism in Arizona. Since 2008, Pieceful Solutions has doubled enrollment each year.

For more information: www.piecefulsolutions.com

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