The New England Center for Children® (NECC®) will join others around the world in celebrating World Autism Awareness Day on Tuesday, April 2, as well as participating in awareness generating events throughout the month.

This year’s United Nations theme for World Autism Awareness Day is “Assistive Technology, Active Participation.” According to the UN site: “The 2019 World Autism Awareness Day observance at UN Headquarters in New York will focus on leveraging the use of assistive technologies for persons with autism as a tool in removing the barriers to their full social, economic and political participation in society, and in promoting equality, equity and inclusion.”

Many children with autism have limited verbal communication skills and use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tools. Forty-percent of NECC students use AAC technologies such as text-to-voice and other speech-generating communication devices. Other assistive technologies include the Internet and digital communities, smart home technology, and other tools that empower children with autism.

To celebrate Autism Awareness month, NECC will be participating in the following activities:

Light It Up Blue. NECC will join the Light It Up Blue campaign with thousands of landmarks and buildings across the world to “light blue” in support of people living with autism. NECC’s John and Diane Kim Autism Institute in Southborough, Mass., and NECC Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, will be lit blue all during April. Staff and students will wear blue on World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.

Custom Facebook Frame: Show your support for Autism Awareness Month and The New England Center for Children by using this custom profile frame throughout April:

Team NECC’s Run of the 2019 Boston Marathon. On Monday, April 15, five runners representing Team NECC will run the Boston Marathon, with hundreds of parents, staff and students cheering along the 26.2 mile route. Four runners are part of the John Hancock Marathon Non-Profit Program. The runners have committed to raising funds to provide resources for the NECC Annual Fund. The Annual Fund helps NECC make purchases such as AAC devices, along with many other tools and resources, so we can provide the best autism services possible. 

Donations can be made to the runners’ fundraising pages at

Annual 5K Walk/Run for Autism. In honor of World Autism Awareness Day, NECC will offer a special promotion for its Annual 5K Walk/Run for Autism, which takes place on Saturday, May 11, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. A $10 registration discount is available for ONE DAY ONLY, Tuesday, April 2, with code AUTISM19. Register at