How you can participate in National Autism Awareness Month

April is National Autism Awareness Month and it's time to Do Your Blue in your hairdo.

Blue is the color for autism and The Pingree Autism Center of Learning is hosting a fundraiser where the community can show support for Autism Awareness Month this month by adding a blue extension or streak to their hair.

Head into any of the 15 participating hair salons (full list below) to get your blue extension or streak, or to get a blue wristband, t-shirt or hat! You can get your extension or wristband for just a $10 donation. All proceeds will be used to fund scholarships for The Pingree Autism Center of Learning's students.

The Pingree Autism Center of Learning programs have the capacity to serve 80 preschool children, 70 elementary, and 10 secondary aged children. Classes are small with approximately 10 children in each classroom.

Currently, they have a waiting list of 200 children they call 'The 200 Littles'. Pingree's goal is to provide an in-home treatment service where a skilled teacher will come into homes and provide behavioral and educational services to students and parents.

Part of Autism Awareness Month is recognizing the signs of autism and learning tips for understanding autism. According to Julia Hood from The Pingree Autism Center of Learning, autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself during early childhood.

It results from a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, affecting children and adults in many countries irrespective of gender, race or socio-economic status. Individuals with autism have restrictive or repetitive behaviors or interests. They also have difficulty with social interaction and communication. Most children are diagnosed between the ages of two and four, and 1 in 58 Utah children will be diagnosed with Autism.

Here are Julia's top five tips to understanding autism:

  1. Recognize that you cannot always tell if a child has autism - or other disabilities - just by looking at them.
  2. Don't judge others by their child's behavior. It is important to be understanding that there could be more going on than just what appears.
  3. If a family member or friend has a child with Autism, offer to help them. Ask, "Is there something I can do to help you?"
  4. Educate yourself about autism and other disabilities, especially "invisible disabilities".
  5. If you do know a family with a child who has autism, find out what their interests are prior to scheduling an activity. Also, find out if there are certain things that are 'triggers' and lead to disruptive behavior.

To learn more about autism or The Pingree Autism Center of Learning, visit www.carmenbpingree.com or find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Participating Do Your Blue salons: 

  • Amber René Salon and Spa: 907 9400 S, Sandy
  • Evans Hairstyling College: 284 W 200 N, Lindon
  • Forte Studio Salons Jodi Anderson: 623 Fort Union Blvd # 208, Midvale o Got Beauty - 904 E 2100 S, Salt Lake City
  • Lunatic Fringe: 1790 1100 E, Salt Lake City
  • Lunatic Fringe: 2545 E Parleys Way, Salt Lake City
  • Lunatic Fringe: 1511 E 2100 S Suite B, Salt Lake City
  • Lunatic Fringe: 4343 UT-224 #202, Park City
  • Onyx Salon: 278 25th St, Ogden
  • Pure Beauty: 8942 State St, Sandy
  • Remedies Salon: 61 E 1280 N, Tooele
  • Salon Shag: 1388 E Fort Union Boulevard, Cottonwood Heights o Shear Pleasure - 287 No. Main, Tooele
  • Star 21 Salon: 2151 E 2100 S, Salt Lake City
  • Taylor Andrews Academy: 9052 S 1510 W, West Jordan
  • Taylor D'Shaw: 388 W Winchester St, Murray