ICA supports Autism Awareness Month with blue lighting

Photo courtesy of Mirvat Kadouh The Islamic Center of America, 19500 Ford Road, is flooded in  blue light to raise awareness for National Autism Awareness Month in April.

Photo courtesy of Mirvat Kadouh
The Islamic Center of America, 19500 Ford Road, is flooded in blue light to raise awareness for National Autism Awareness Month in April.

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — The Islamic Center of America will shine blue for the entire month of April with the goal of bringing awareness to autism in the community.

For the campaign, The Ladies of the Islamic Center of America partnered with Blue Hands United of Dearborn and the ICA’s United Network of Islam youth group.

“The Blue Hands United of Dearborn approached me last year to collaborate in order to spread awareness in the community,” Ladies of the Islamic Center of America Chairman Mirvat Kadouh said. “Our goals are to educate others, learn the warning sings for early diagnosis and effective intervention in child’s development.”

Autism is defined as a neurobehavioral disorder that affects up to 1 in 68 children,” an ICA flier read. “Symptoms reside along a wide spectrum, and the severity varies among individuals affected.”

The blue lights were lit March 31 and visitors at the ICA, 19500 Ford Road, were asking questions about the display change.

“During prayer not long ago I heard a man asking about the blue lights and I was able to let him know it was for autism,” Ladies of the Islamic Center of America Co-Chairwoman Donna Jawad said. “Breaking down the barriers, taboo and stigma with issues children face is important.”

Jawad and Kadouh said they wanted to let families who have children with a disability know that the ICA and community are here to help them and provide support.

“It is important for people in the community because some are afraid and hide their children if they have a disability,” Jawad said. “Families in that situation could be chosen ones to help others dealing with a child with a disability by educating each other.”

For more information on the campaign call 313-593-0000 or go to www.icofa.com.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)