Brookfield Zoo Goes Blue for Autism Awareness

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2014, one in 68 children are diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Although not replacing this official estimate, a new government survey of parents reported the number to be 1 in 45 children, ages 3 through 17, have been diagnosed with autism, which indicates there may be more prevalence of autism in the United States as once thought to be.

Autism-Speaks-logo

To bring awareness of one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the country, Brookfield Zoo is partnering with Autism Speaks for the annual Zoos Go Blue Campaign on Saturday, April 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. To commemorate the day, the water in the zoo’s Roosevelt Fountain will be dyed blue and there will be blue flags decorating the park’s grounds.

Brookfield-Zoo-Fountain-Autism

In light of research that has shown that the presence of an animal can significantly increase positive social behaviors among children with autism spectrum disorder, the animal care staff will be on hand to provide special Zoo Chats. These informal talks will allow families to enjoy up-close experiences with some of the animals. Also, joining in the activities will be representatives from Autism Speaks, who will have booths set up at both the zoo’s north and south gates distributing information and answering questions.

Throughout the day, there will be special activities for families who have children on the autism spectrum. Youngsters can participate in a craft activity at the Hamill Family Play Zoo. The zoo’s Carousel will feature a quiet hour from 11:00 a.m. to noon, which will allow families to ride the popular attraction without loud music. In addition, at 1:00 p.m., there will be a sensory-friendly Dolphins In Action presentation. And, there will be a designated area in the Riverside Room, located in the lower level of BZ Red Hots, where families can go for some quiet time.

The zoo also has several BZ Care Kits that can be checked out during a zoo visit. These kits include noise-reducing headphones, hard copies of visual schedules, autism stickers, and safety alert badges and ID bracelets in case a child gets separated from his or her family.

How will you support Autism Awareness on April 2nd?

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Comments

  1. Becca Wilson says:

    What a great event. My best friend’s son was recently put on the spectrum, so this is near and dear to my heart.

  2. It really frustrates me that austism is one of the most growing developmental disorders in the nation. Why is that? My brother was diagnosed in the 80s and it was a 1 in every 10,000 kids verses a possible 1 in 10 kids today! How is this happening. Its so disturbing and I am happy there is more awareness but we also need a preventable solution for this. My brother is 28 now…and it is just sad to hear that this is affect more families. Preventative measures and solutions would be really helpful!
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    • I agree 1,000%! It’s great that money is being spent of programs, therapies, and support, but I would love to see some preventative measures too. :)

  3. I think this is a very nice event for the autistic children.
    Animals do wonders for helping tough times.

  4. My son is on the autism spectrum. He has Asperger’s Syndrome. I love hearing about facilities that support the cause by going blue. Hooray for the Brookfield Zoo!

  5. My friends little girl is five and is on the spectrum. She is non verbal and it is a struggle for her to communicate her needs. It is great to see so many places joining in raising awareness.

  6. So great to see so many more businesses, companies and people spreading awareness and trying to help those with autism. It’s really great, I’m not sure what I’ll do but I am now thinking about it!

  7. Ryan Escat says:

    Oh that sounds fun and great. Glad you shared about this. Thanks!

  8. This is a good and fun idea. I would love to join them especially those autistic children and have fun. I love them, they are all lovable and cute. I love having conversation with them.
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  9. It’s awesome to see them doing this. We used to make a lot of trips to the Brookfield Zoo!

  10. Look at that cute blue fountain! I love it! I have several friends who have children who are Autistic. This is a great awareness and I’m glad to see companies who cater to those who just need a little more attention for their needs, it’s so sweet and I’m sure makes parents feel at ease.
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  11. I think it’s great that this zoo stepped up to help raise awareness. I wish more large companies would do the same. Way to go!

  12. I had no idea that Brookfield Zoo did anything like this. I love that they are offering the kits with noise reducing headphones and other things to make a zoo trip more enjoyable for autistic children.

  13. Wow! That’s awesome that the zoo is doing this! I know several people that have children with autism, but I had no idea so many have it. Thanks for sharing, this was definitely an eye opener for me.

  14. Autism is such a big problem in our country. I actually know more than one parent with a child on the autism spectrum. If I lived in the area, I’d definitely be coming out for this.
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  15. I had no idea that so many children were on the Autism spectrum. I knew it was a lot, but not that many. I try to donate to Autism charities every year to support their work.
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