English Gardens again lends it support for blue light effort

 Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications; barbara@eafocus.com; 248.260.8466; Kelly Kinnear, Judson Center; Kelly_Kinnear@JudsonCenter.org; 248.837-2030

Royal Oak, Mich. — March 31, 2021 — Judson Center, a multi-county human service agency and designated Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), will Bring Autism to Light this April during national autism awareness month through efforts to raise awareness of autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the services available to individuals and families living with an autism diagnosis, and the need for a more inclusive workforce that includes those with developmental disabilities.

Currently, one in 54 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, with boys four times more likely than girls to receive the diagnosis. In Michigan, there are over 50,000 individuals living with ASD. Judson Center’s Autism Connections program, established in 2005, provides comprehensive services to individuals and families impacted by autism at four Judson Center locations: Ann Arbor, Farmington Hills, Royal Oak, and Warren.  According to Judson Center Director of Autism and Disability Services, Michelle O’Connor-Teklinski, LMSW, early intervention is critical.

“The earlier a child is diagnosed with Autism and enrolled in ABA or rehabilitative treatment, the greater the opportunity to optimize outcomes,” O’Connor-Teklinski said. “We’ve made great strides in autism treatment over the past ten years and use Autism Awareness Month to share our progress – and also educate the public on the capabilities of those with autism or on the autism spectrum to contribute to our workplaces and communities.”

Through its disability services, Judson Center places individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities in meaningful employment – and is always seeking new job options.

“Disability inclusion is a choice – a wise choice,” O’Connor-Teklinski said. “Employers have an opportunity to become welcoming workplaces for persons with autism.  There currently exists a need for quality job candidates, and an even greater need to find meaningful, inclusive work for people with autism. We need help to expand our pool for job placements.”

The most visible sign of Judson Center’s Bring Autism to Light campaign will be at its Royal Oak campus on the corner of 13 Mile and Greenfield, which will shine bright in blue from dusk to dawn for the entire month of April, thanks to the ongoing support of English Gardens, which has provided the lighting each year since 2016.  Individuals and families are also encouraged to switch out their own front porch lights for blue lights this April to help bring autism to light.

Judson Center also received a proclamation from the City of Royal Oak proclaiming April as National Autism Awareness Month in the City of Royal Oak. The City is helping spread the word with a Judson Center Bring Autism to Light banner displayed at 11 Mile and Main Street for the entire month of April.

Additionally, Judson Center will present a series of fun and unique community engagement activities each week on their social media pages, such as encouraging the community to create and share their Art for Autism and creative and fun ways to host a Blue Bash from the comfort of home. At Judson Center Autism Connections program sites, therapists are hosting spirit week, with each day highlighting something blue, such as wearing blue hats on Monday and eating a blue food on Tuesday.

For more information on autism programming, email autism@judsoncenter.org or visit the Judson Center website.

About Judson Center
Judson Center, trusted by Michigan families for more than 97 years, is a non-profit human service agency that provides comprehensive services that strengthen children, adults and families impacted by abuse and neglect, autism, developmental, behavioral, and physical health challenges so they can achieve whole health, well-being, and maximum potential. Judson Center also offers integrated primary healthcare for all through Judson Center Family Health in Warren and is a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). Since opening its doors in 1924, Judson Center has grown to change the lives of over 12,000 children, adults, and families each year. Judson Center has offices in Genesee, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties. Headquarters are located at 30301 Northwestern Highway, Suite 100, Farmington Hills, MI 48334-3277.  Learn more at https://www.judsoncenter.org/.