Businesses support Autism Awareness

AutismLogoFor the second consecutive year, the Westport/Weston-based “Autism Speaks: Autism Awareness Day/Month” Committee has created a community-wide program to celebrate the United Nation’s mandated World Autism Awareness Day (Thursday, April 2), and April’s Autism Awareness Month. The program seeks to increase autism awareness, and raise local funds for people on the autism spectrum. To date, almost 90 businesses in Fairfield, New Canaan, Norwalk, Weston, Westport, and White Plains have joined.   

“There are so many incredible things planned for this year, that programs will begin in March, and conclude in May, said Allison Ziering Walmark, creator, and co-Chairperson – along with Andi Sklar – of Autism Awareness Day/Month. “Autism is the fastest growing serious disability in the United States; monies raised will stay in the local community to help children and families with autism. Of course, education in the community is equally important, and we feel this program accomplishes that to a degree.”

‘Autism Awareness” events calendar

o Thursday, March 26: Neiman Marcus at the Westchester. In-store special fashion presentation/reception to benefit Autism Speaks

o Wednesday, April 1: Bobby Q’s. Family-friendly dinner with live music by the School of Rock Fairfield band CLUELESS, whose keyboard player is in the autism spectrum

o Thursday, April 2 (World Autism Awareness Day):

o Government: Westport’s First Selectman Marpe and Weston’s First Selectwoman Gayle Weinstein will officially proclaim April 2 – and the month of April – as “Autism Awareness Day/Month” in their respective towns

o Retail: Participant stores have agreed to donate 10% and/or a minimum of $500 of April 2 sales to Autism Speaks

o Online: Select online businesses/consultants will donate 10% for the entire month of April

o Restaurants/Beverage: Select restaurants will donate 10% of all food/beverage sales. For program dates, visit: (

o Saturday, May 9: Westport restaurant Da Pietro’s hosts a celebratory “Autism Awareness” dinner to close Autism Awareness Month

Businesses that support the cause

Fairfield County residents who wish to support this local “Autism Awareness Day/Month” program can patronize the following local businesses in-store or online. For more information on “Autism Speaks: Autism Awareness Day/Month,” visit: AND


oAchieve Fitness

o Alison Daniel Designs

o Arbonne

o Barcelona Fairfield

obartaco Westport

oBianca Boutique

oBlack Duck

oBlow Dry Westport

oBobby Q’s

o Bonnie Marcus Designs

o BOOST! Child and Family Services

oBoulevard 18 (New Canaan)



o Camilla Klein Jewelry and Décor



o Cobb’s Mill Inn

oCompo Center Barber Shop

o Crossroads Hardware


oDa Pietro’s

o Designs by Melissa

oFairfield Theatre Company

o Four Brothers Pizza


oHair Innovations Westport

o Honda of Westport


o Jamberry Nails

o Jen Goldberg Photography

o JL Rocks


oJordan’s Westport

oJoy Ride

oKawa Ni

oKerrie Weisman Makeup

o KZK Jewelry

oLang’s Pharmacy of Weston


o LERA Jewels

oLillian August

o Lunch Box

o Main Street Drivers

oMillie Rae’s

o Moffly Media (Westport/Weston/ Wilton Magazine)


oNeiman Marcus

o Nerium


o P.I. A.: Personal Image Artist 

o Pampered Chef

oPeter’s Market

o Peter’s Spirit Shop

o Porsche Fairfield

o Preux Handbags

oPure Barre

o Rodan & Fields

oSaugatuck Grain + Grape

o School of Rock Fairfield


o She La La Westport

oSherwood Diner


o Splatterbox

oSpotted Horse

o Stella & Dot

oSteven Alan

oStiles Market

oStrada18 (SoNo)

oSuperior Seafood

oTavern on Main

oThe Granola Bar

oThe Shade Store

oThe Whelk


o Tracey Diamond Designs


o UPS Westport      


oVincent Palumbo

o Westport Cleaners

o Westport Hardware

o Wishlist

o Worth Collection

What is Autism?

Autism is a complex brain disorder that often inhibits a person’s ability to communicate, respond to surroundings, and form relationships with others. First identified more than 50 years ago, autism is typically diagnosed by the age of two or three. Autism affects people of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Few disorders are as devastating to a child and his or her family. While some people with autism are mildly affected, most people with the condition will require lifelong supervision and care and have significant language impairments. Many children with autism will never be able to tell their parents they love them.

Autism Facts

o Autism now affects 1-in-68 children (1-in-42 boys)

o Boys are almost five times more likely than girls to have autism

o Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States

o More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined

o Autism costs the nation over $35 billion per year, a figure that will significantly increase in the next decade

o Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases

o There is no cure for autism

Autism Speaks

Bob (past Chairman and CEO, NBC Universal) and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism, founded autism Speaks in February 2005. Since then, Autism Speaks is the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization. Autism Speaks:

o Funds global biomedical research into autism’s cause(s), prevention, treatment(s), and cure

o Raises autism’s public awareness and its effects on individuals, families, and society

o Brings hope to all who deal with the physical, psychological, emotional, familial and financial effects/affects of this disorder

o Urges government and the private sector to listen to, understand and take action on this global health crisis

United Nations World Autism Awareness

o The United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted resolution 62/139 (December 18, 2007), which declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD); April is Autism Awareness Month

o On April 2, Autism Speaks asks businesses and homes to shine a light on autism, through blue lights. Each year, more and more international landmarks, bridges, sporting venues, and retail outlets Light It Up Blue to bring attention to autism’s epidemic

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