Light It Up Blue in Treaty 4 News

Regina mom Jeanelle Mandes hopes to “Light It Up Blue” and raise awareness about autism for World Autism Day on April 2, 2016.“I want people to learn what autism is,” said Mandes. “If they know someone on the autism spectrum, I want them to understand what autistic people and their families are experiencing and what their needs are.”The “Light It Up Blue” theme was developed by Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization based in the US.  This is the fourth year that Mandes, who is from the Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation, has organized the event in Regina.

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“It’s becoming a really important event for bringing kids, parents, health professionals and friends together to learn from each other,” she said.

“When my daughter was diagnosed with autism in June 2012, I didn’t know anything about it,” said Mandes, whose daughter Sharlize is now seven. “I realize now how important it is for parents and others to have information and support, so they know how to help their kids,” she added.

“When I learned about my daughter’s diagnosis, I started looking for information. I found Autism Speaks and many other organizations.  When I found out that April 2 is Autism Awareness Day, I decided to organize this event,” said Mandes.

The Regina event will be held at the First Nations University of Canada, Regina campus Atrium on Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 9:00 to 11:00.

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