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Jersey Family Lights Neighborhood Blue For Autism [AUDIO]

A New Jersey family is hoping to bathe their southern Ocean County neighborhood in blue lights this coming Tuesday in recognition of World Autism Day.

Chris Heins Manahawkin home lit in blue
Chris Heins Manahawkin home lit in blue (Chris Heins)

Chris Heins of Manahawkin says he and his family will once again be distributing blue lights in his Ocean Acres neighborhood for ‘Light It Up Blue,’ a worldwide event hosted by Autism Speaks.

He says last year he purchased blue lights and wrote a heart felt letter about their family’s experience of having a child with autism and distributed 60 lights to residents on Barracuda Road.

“My kids grabbed a red wagon, loaded up with lights and letters and really went to every single neighbors mailbox and stuck it in their with a light that explained what to do.”

“Truthfully, he expected a 10 to 20 percent turnout but the response was overwhelming! We drove up and down the road with a video camera and I’m probably going to tear up now but we cried because I think everybody actually did it.”

Heins says this year they’re hoping to expand their quest by distributing 200 lights lights to other houses close to their road. They even named Tuesday April 2nd 2013, the second annual “Light It Up Blue In Ocean Acres” an event aimed at showing unified support and sense of community for all children and adults living with autism.

(L-R) Brian and Jason Heins
(L-R) Brian and Jason Heins (Chris Heins)

Heins, who’s wife and business partner owns a construction company, plan to allow the company’s billboard on Route 72 in Stafford Township to be utilized to recognize World Autism Day, their ten year old son Brian who’s diagnosed with a severe form of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Stafford Township Special Education Teachers, whom he praises.

He says people should recognize World Autism Day Tuesday by wearing blue and lighting blue porch lights. Prominent landmarks through out the world will also be lit in blue lights to raise awareness and show support for families impacted by autism.

Autism Speaks will also be at the New York Stock Exchange.

High Autism Rates in NJ

The Heins family from Manahawkin.

New Jersey has one of the highest autism rates in the country. Scientist can’t explain why, but one in 49 children (one in 29 boys) in the Garden State are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

This information and facts are on the Centers for Disease Control website.

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