News: Body Painting on the Green Raises Awareness for Autism Globally and Locally

Photo Credit: Project Speak Up

Students raising awareness for autism gather for a group photo on the Green.

Yesterday was World Autism Awareness Day. In order to raise awareness for people on the autism spectrum, yesterday at lunch Leadership offered free blue body painting and a blue pie-eating contest for students on the Green.

 

Autism Speaks, the national autism awareness organization, led a campaign yesterday to light up world monuments with blue in order to raise awareness for autism (hence, the blue body painting yesterday).

 

In addition to painted hands, arms, and faces, many students had blue puzzle pieces painted on their bodies. When I asked Leadership teacher Mr. Amoroso about the symbolic significance of these puzzle pieces (which are also Autism Speaks’ brand image of sorts) he said, “to autistic people, the world is a puzzle that they’re trying to piece together.”

 

Amoroso stated that, in addition to wanting the body painting and pie-eating contest to be a “fun lunchtime event” that raised awareness for autism globally, he also wanted for it to raise awareness for “autistic students at M-A.” Leadership accomplished this goal of localizing World Autism Awareness Day by inviting Nathaniel Major, a former M-A student with autism and a spokesperson for Project Speak Up, to talk about autism and his high school experience, which he likened to “the world [being] a PC [while] he [was] a mac.”

 

When reflecting on the success of the event as a whole, Amoroso said that “it went pretty well, considering that we only had three days to organize and plan.”