Social media users can shine their support for World Autism Awareness Day by turning one of Edinburgh’s most iconic monuments blue.
Melville Monument in St Andrew Square will change to the condition’s symbolic colour if people tweet #blue to the City of Edinburgh Council’s Twitter account@Edinburgh_CC to mark the awareness day tonight, Thursday April 2nd.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time will be the topic of a special Giant Book Group, while a Dance Back to the Future club night and a free concert are also amongst the events taking place this week to mark the international day in the capital.
Autism affects around 5,000 people in Edinburgh and is a lifelong developmental disorder which can affect people with or without a learning disability – sometimes known as Aspergers Syndrome. It affects both children and adults, and can have a profound effect on the way a person understands and interacts with the world around them.
The Council runs a number of services and offers support to those with the condition and their families through its Autism Edinburgh campaign and its autism plan. Support includes trained autism champions; Aspire, which helps young people move on from school and college into further education or work; family support through Positive Pathways, and a specialised online training programme.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon will be discussed at the Giant Book Group in the Central Library from 6.30pm tomorrow, in advance of the stage adaptation at the Festival Theatre later this month. A panel consisting of Health, Social Care and Housing Convener, Councillor Ricky Henderson, Cerin Richardson from Edinburgh Theatres, Matthew Day from Autism Initiatives and parent Amanda Wilson will launch the event, at which members of the public will form groups to talk about the book.
Clubbers will celebrate the day at Dance Back to the Future at Electric Circus from 10pm on the same night, while a live music event featuring Pet, the Just Joans and The Fast Girls is being held tonight at Upward Mobility in St Margaret’s House on London Road from 7pm.
Cllr Henderson said:
World Autism Awareness Day is a fantastic opportunity to consider how some of us struggle every day through no fault of our own, and reminds us to show compassion and understanding.
The Council is committed to supporting those in need to reach their full potential and to lead happy and independent lives.
You can find out more information about World Autism Awareness Day on the Autism Speaks website.