This is the second year that the Autism Research Center is looking to raise awareness of autism by lighting up several buildings blue around the campus and Chapel Hill.

Last April, the Morehead Planetarium, Carolina Inn, Carolina Coffee Shop and Google building participated by lighting their establishments with blue lights, and this year the Autism Research Center hopes to partner with them again.

April’s LightUNCBlue campaign is connected to GiveUNC on the 9th, so that’s when the blue lights will go up this year.

Allison Zoller, project manager at the Autism Research Center, said the center works not only in genetic research but also in services for individuals with autism, including parents with children with an autism diagnosis.

“It’s very good for us to be able to talk with them about their choices of intervention and their particular child’s symptoms or difficulties.”

The Autism Research Center also provides training to students interested in careers related to people with autism.

Laura Klinger, co-director at the Center, said it is an exciting time for autism research. She said there is a great focus on understanding autism across the lifespan. That means support for folks from a young age into adulthood.

“I don’t think we ever want to limit where we want children to have an autism diagnosis to be able to go with their lives,” Klinger said. “I don’t think the diagnoses of autism should limit hopes and dreams for the future.”

You can find more information about UNC’s Autism Research Center here.