Local organizations support Autism Awareness Month

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HARTFORD -- April is National Autism Awareness Month.

A government survey of parents suggests that 1 in 45 children, ages 3 through 17, have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. This is notably higher than the official government estimate of 1 in 68 American children with autism, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bob Wright and his wife, Suzanne, founded the advocacy group Autism Speaks in 2005. Locally, Autism Speaks in Connecticut is recruiting walkers and other supporters for their upcoming walks in Waterbury in May and East Hartford in June.

The Max Restaurant Group is donating 10 percent of its sales in the month of April to Autism Speaks New England and Palm Beach County chapters. Max’s has eleven locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Florida.

In support of Autism Awareness, The Hartford sign atop the tower building in downtown Hartford will turn remain blue through Saturday.

And Sesame Street is adding a new muppet, Julia, who has autism to their cast. The idea is to introduce kids to a character who has autism, so that they can better understand what it is and how to interact with other kids who might have autism.