Cape Abilities “Lights It Up Blue™” in April!

Please join the entire Cape Abilities family as we participate in World Autism Awareness Month in April to show support for those affected by autism spectrum disorder and to highlight the valuable role these individuals play in our community.

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What is autism spectrum disorder?

Autism spectrum disorders are characterized by social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors. However, symptoms and their severity vary widely across these three core areas. Taken together, they may result in relatively mild challenges for someone on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum. For others, symptoms may be more severe, as when repetitive behaviors and lack of spoken language interfere with everyday life. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in 68 children are on the autism spectrum.

What is being done to assist this growing population?

At Cape Abilities, we believe in the potential of each and every individual we serve, no matter what their challenges. We are committed to constantly creating a diverse array of opportunities that ensure that everyone can have meaningful involvement in the Cape Cod community and their local neighborhoods.  We accomplish this by providing appropriate supports tailored to individual needs that assist each person to meet personal goals for employment, participation in the community through their volunteerism and recreation and a host of other activities.

Sydney joined the Cape Abilities Life Skills/Day Habilitation program in May of 2017 and from the moment she came through our doors, she let everyone know that she was bringing youthful exuberance and the most positive energy source that life has to offer along with her.

“The services and staff at Cape Abilities blew away my expectations of what Sydney would be experiencing each day,” notes Sydney’s mother, Lynn“Today, for example, she is out horseback riding! I never thought she would feel comfortable enough to ride one.  Our biggest hopes and dreams for Sydney is that she is happy and that her communication and independent life skills get better so she can live a very full and rewarding life. With the help she gets each day from Cape Abilities our hopes and dreams for her can be a reality.  We couldn’t be more grateful.”

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Kevin began our Life Skills/Day Habilitation program back in September of 2017. He has recently joined the Community Based Day Supports and Vocational Work Supports programs where he is taking his time, observing and learning at his own pace in an environment that he that is perfectly suited for him.

“Getting an Autism diagnosis was devastating, but not as heartbreaking as when one of Kevin’s first therapists told me he would ‘never feel or express love the same way we do’,” said Kevin’s mom, Amy.    “Throughout Kevin’s life, he has proven that therapist wrong.  He is one of the most lovable and loved young men I know.  And Kevin feels love every day at Cape Abilities.  He leaves for Hyannis every morning with a spring in his step and comes home every day smiling ear to ear.  The amazing staff at Cape Abilities continue to foster and develop Kevin’s strengths and abilities in order for him to be a happy, successful, hard-working, productive young man, employee and peer.  I’m confident that with this continued support from the staff at Cape Abilities, Kevin will continue to thrive, be happy and most importantly…loved!

We currently support more than 90 individuals on the autism spectrum and this number continues to increase.  As a result, we have enhanced and expanded our clinical supports and also offer specialized staff training in this area so that we can provide programs that are suited to the needs of this population and ensure that everyone we serve can be successful in the pursuit of their individual interests and participate fully in the community.

What is Light It Up Blue?

Light It Up Blue™ is a unique global celebration that kicked off the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Month on April 2nd.  Cape Abilities has participated in this initiative for five consecutive years, and this year, to help spread the message, we commissioned local artist Michael Magyar to create a unique Light It Up Blue™ iron “giant”, and partnered with Cooke’s Seafood in Hyannis to display this remarkable work of art.

This original iron sculpture is 18-foot by 10-foot (below), lit with thousands of blue and white LED lights, and will shine in front of Cooke’s Seafood on Route 132 in Hyannis during the month of April.

“It’s our honor and a privilege to help Cape Abilities in their efforts to increase understanding and acceptance during Autism Awareness Month,” note Van and Michael Haidas, owners of Cooke’s Seafood, Hyannis.  We are so fortunate to have an organization like Cape Abilities in our community increasing awareness and fostering change and we are proud to be a community partner.”

This custom-made iron sculpture, designed by Michael Magyar at his Glass Studio on Cape Cod in Sandwich, is a representation of Autism Speaks’ iconic light bulb and puzzle piece. We hope that it will remind visitors and local residents of the importance of understanding and acceptance for those with autism.

“What an honor to join Cape Abilities for such a terrific cause,” said Michael Magyar.It is a true pleasure for me to see this unique “Giant” lit up in the dark night, knowing that it is helping to raise awareness for so many. It really takes a community effort to make this happen and I hope it brings joy and wonder to everyone.”

 

Who else is Lighting It Up Blue?

We are very grateful to the Cape towns, local businesses, fire and police departments, local chambers, schools and the entire Cape Cod community who will join us in participating in the Light It Up Blue™ campaign.  By displaying blue lights for everyone to see, you are helping to raise awareness for the critical need to increase the services and supports for those with autism.

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Our Sensory Film Series Continues in April!

Cape Abilities is thrilled to continue its great partnership with the Chatham Orpheum Theater in Chatham to present free, monthly sensory movie screenings devoted specifically to individuals with disabilities and their families.  The lights are turned slightly up and the sound is turned slightly down to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of all who attend!

Be sure to visit our Cape Abilities Sensory Film Series home page for more details on free screenings that occur on the third Saturday of every month throughout the year!

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Please Visit Our Cape Abilities Businesses As They
Light It Up Blue™ in April!

When you shop at our innovative businesses, you are supporting our mission to provide employment supports that enable our program participants to learn the skills they will need for successful community employment!

Cape Abilities Farm on Route 6A in Dennis is open for 2018! Our pre-season sale is underway featuring an incredible variety of pansies, our best crop ever! And don’t forget our potted herbs to get your indoor gardens underway!
The Farm is open seven days a week from 9:30am-5:00pm.  

 

Cape Abilities Thrift Shop on Route 28 in West Yarmouth is bustling with spring-cleaning activity as new items are arriving daily! Our new 5,000 square foot Thrift Shop is HUGE, with easier access to more selections of your favorite varieties of antiques, fine furniture, home décor, jewelry, household goods and collectibles!
The Thrift Shop is open seven days a week from 10:00am-4:00pm.

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Great Tips To Help Everyone Light It Up Blue™ in April!

Here are some simple tips to help you stay involved and help raise awareness and promote acceptance for individuals and their families affected by autism spectrum disorder all year long!

Light Homes, Businesses, Schools, and Landmarks Blue

  • Change outdoor or indoor white bulbs to blue bulbs
  • Cover existing fixtures with blue gel filters
  • Show the Autism Speaks puzzle piece or Light It Up Blue™ logo on walls or buildings

Wear Blue Clothing

  • Ask family, friends, coworkers, and staff to wear blue (ties, scarfs, shirts, etc.) and tell people why they are wearing that color

Post Blue in Social Media

  • Personalize your Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest sites and profiles with Blue coloring
  • Post your photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #LIUB to be a part of the global autism awareness movement!
  • Turn your website blue or add the Light It Up Blue logo with a link to www.autismspeaks.org/liub

Raise Awareness!

  • Share information about autism, World Autism Awareness Day, and Light It Up Blue™ in your organization, company, school and neighborhood
  • Invite a local representative from the Autism community to speak to your staff, school, or town about autism and the Light It Up Blue™ campaign.
  • Share your commitment and story with local media; email them pictures to share on their own media sites

Resources:

Below, please find some helpful links for support services:

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We invite you to join us and Light It Up Blue™ all month long, as together, we continue to shine a light on the crucial need for Greater Understanding and Acceptance of individuals with autism throughout the Cape Cod community.

Thank you for helping us to spread the word and to Light It Up Blue™ in April!

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