‘The earlier interventions are implemented, the better the outcome’

Patients, family members gather for World Autism Awareness Day at local event to recognize brain developmental disorder affecting 1 in 59 children in US

Kids+play+with+blue+slime+at+Miller+Children%E2%80%99s+%26+Women%E2%80%99s+Hospital%E2%80%99s+%E2%80%9CLight+It+Up+Blue%E2%80%9D+event%2C+hosted+for+Autism+Awareness+Month%2C+on+Tuesday%2C+April+2
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‘The earlier interventions are implemented, the better the outcome’

Kids play with blue slime at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital’s “Light It Up Blue” event, hosted for Autism Awareness Month, on Tuesday, April 2

Kids play with blue slime at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital’s “Light It Up Blue” event, hosted for Autism Awareness Month, on Tuesday, April 2

Photos by Lissette Mendoza | Signal Tribune

Kids play with blue slime at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital’s “Light It Up Blue” event, hosted for Autism Awareness Month, on Tuesday, April 2

Photos by Lissette Mendoza | Signal Tribune

Photos by Lissette Mendoza | Signal Tribune

Kids play with blue slime at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital’s “Light It Up Blue” event, hosted for Autism Awareness Month, on Tuesday, April 2

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Patients, family members and supporters attended Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital “Light It Up Blue” event, which was hosted on World Autism Awareness Day on Tuesday, April 2.

Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a brain developmental disorder that affects social communication, and it ranges from mild to moderate to severe.

The Stramski Children’s Developmental Center at Miller Children’s Hospital treats children– from birth to the age of 21– who have behavioral and developmental conditions, including autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Down syndrome.

Attendees at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital’s “Light It Up Blue” event, hosted in recognition of Autism Awareness Month on Tuesday, April 2, held signs that had the names of those they were supporting.

Dr. Gary Feldman, medical director of the Stramski Children’s Developmental Center, was recognized for his dedication in caring for autistic children by being presented with certificates from 47th District Congressmember Alan Lowenthal and Los Angeles County 4th District Supervisor Janice Hahn.

The honor noted the “critical work the Stramski Center does to help promote a greater understanding of autism in the Long Beach community.”

During his acceptance, Feldman stressed the importance of autism awareness.

“The diagnosis can be made earlier,” he said. “The more awareness we have, the more philanthropy– and more money can be injected into research.”

Attendees showed their support by wearing blue, the color used to symbolize autism. They also held signs with the names of those they were there to support. At the end of the event, they were asked to place a blue pinwheel on the grass– a total of 59– with one of them being white, which was also meant to symbolize the one in 59 kids that are affected with autism in the United States.

During the rest of the month, the pavilion will be illuminated with blue lights for Autism Awareness Month.

“Right now, we still have difficulty in making a diagnosis,” Feldman said. “It’s an observational diagnosis. We don’t have a blood test yet. So, we are observing children and seeing if they fit into the diagnostic criteria. The earlier interventions are implemented, the better the outcome.”