QUEENSLANDERS are being encouraged to "go blue" in April to raise awareness and funds for autism.
Throughout April, which is Autism Awareness month, people can show their support by wearing a blue item of clothing or an accessory, or organising a Go Blue event at their school, workplace, or community group on their chosen day in April and collecting a minimum gold coin donation from each participant.
Autism Queensland's Go Blue for Autism campaign officially kicks off on World Autism Day (April 2), but people can begin registering now at goblueforautism.com.au.
The site also includes news and events from around Queensland as well as promotional materials for download.
Autism Queensland CEO Penny Beeston said the Go Blue campaign was designed to be inclusive, allowing people to take part either individually or by signing up their business, school, club or community organisations.
"Alternately, people can sell Go Blue for Autism merchandise or organise their own Go Blue fundraiser such as a blue cupcake morning tea and donating any proceeds raised to Autism Queensland," Ms Beeston said.
Research shows autism affects one in 100 Australian children, with the condition now more common than cerebral palsy, diabetes, deafness, blindness and leukaemia combined.
In Queensland, more than 10,000 school-aged children live with autism.Ms Beeston said while there was no cure, structured early intervention, therapy and education delivered by professionals could make a significant difference.
"Money raised will support early intervention, education and therapy services for children with autism across Queensland," Ms Beeston said.
Autism Queensland has grown its services substantially since it was founded in 1967 by families of children with the condition.
Over the past four decades its services have expanded to include Queensland's only autism-specific schools, as well as Early Intervention Centres in Rockhampton, Cairns, Mackay and Gladstone.
"We also provide multi-disciplinary outreach teams which visit all schools in Queensland to support teachers of children with autism, training and support services for parents, professionals and schools across the state."
On April 2 iconic buildings across the world, including Australia, will turn their lights blue to promote autism awareness.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.