Singapore icons glow blue to raise awareness of autism

The Helix Bridge is among iconic structures and buildings in Singapore that are being bathed in blue light this month to mark World Autism Awareness Day. Other events being held to showcase the abilities of individuals with the condition include carn
The Helix Bridge is among iconic structures and buildings in Singapore that are being bathed in blue light this month to mark World Autism Awareness Day. Other events being held to showcase the abilities of individuals with the condition include carnivals, concerts and art exhibitions.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Iconic structures and buildings of institutions in Singapore such as the Helix Bridge, National Gallery, St Andrew's Cathedral and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital are going blue for a cause this month.

Blue is the universal colour of autism and the light-up is part of a campaign meant to mark World Autism Awareness Day, which falls on April 2 every year.

The annual autism advocacy campaign organised by Autism Network Singapore aims to engage the community, raise awareness and promote understanding about the disorder.

Autism is a complex developmental condition that includes impairments in social interaction and communication skills.

The Light It Up Blue campaign was started in 2010 by Autism Speaks, America's leading autism science and advocacy organisation, to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day.

The campaign encourages cities around the world to light up key landmarks as well as structures such as retail stores, concert halls, bridges and museums.

The aim: to "shine a light" on autism. Blue is the official colour because of the prevalence of the disorder in boys.

Autism now affects one in 68 children and one in 42 boys.

Other campaign events being held this month include carnivals, concerts and art exhibitions to showcase the abilities of individuals with the condition.

An autism symposium was also held yesterday, where medical professionals and caregivers spoke about the early warning signs of autism spectrum disorder, among other topics.

Janice Tai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 10, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore icons glow blue to raise awareness of autism'. Print Edition | Subscribe