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After Successful Facebook Live Event, August Levy Encourages Community to ‘Light Up Blue’ for Autism Awareness Month

Tim Ullom
Tim Ullom performing on Facebook live.

Wheeling, WV – On Friday, March 27, more than 300 people tuned in to a Facebook Live concert put on by Tim Ullom. Throughout the virtual concert, Tim paused to talk to fans from all over the country who tuned in asking for donations for the Augusta Levy Learning Center stating, “They have given me all I ever wanted, so please help me give a little back to them.” Ullom raised almost $1,000 in the first 20 minutes. By the end of hour two, he had raised $5,286 which has since increased to $5,541 following the show. To continue this momentum that Ullom started, the Learning Center is encouraging the local community to do their part, as well.

Augusta Levy Learning Center is challenging individuals and businesses in the Ohio Valley to use their newfound “free time” to come up with creative ways to “light it up blue” for World Autism Awareness day on Thursday, April 2nd. Wear blue, string blue lights, change your light bulbs to blue, display blue balloons, or even invent a blue treat (for pickup, of course). Pictures submitted by April 3 will be eligible for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Pickles Eatery and Bar and a $25 gift card to The Bridge Tavern. Participants should send pictures to by the end of the day on April 3. All pictures will be added to the ALLC Facebook page. The picture with the most “Likes” by 5 p.m. on April 30 will win both gift cards. Let’s use this time to be a hero for autism and help raise awareness!

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The costs per year for children with ASD in the U.S. are estimated to be between 11.5 billion and 60.9 billion that can be broken down to $40-60 thousand per child per year. With the Median Household Income in West Virginia falling almost $17,000 below the national average at $43,469, this presents huge obstacles for families of individuals with ASD. In 2011, the West Virginia legislature passed the Autism Insurance Law requiring public and private insurance companies to pay for the diagnosis and treatment of autism; however, self-funded insurance plans are exempt from the state law and in some cases require an astronomical amount for copayments and deductibles before they will cover services. Some families have been required to pay $60-$90 a day in co-payments for a total of $1200-$1800 a month and $14,400-$21,600 a year, respectively. Lack of funding combined with lack of treatment programs means that fewer than 4% of children with autism are receiving effective treatment in West Virginia. Augusta Levy works to decrease the financial gap for families. That is why every penny that is raised is a crucial piece to the autism puzzle. Please consider helping ALLC raise awareness for a disorder that has become more prevalent than Juvenile Diabetes, childhood cancer, and AIDS in children COMBINED! If 8,400 landmarks and buildings can “Light it up Blue,” so can YOU!

Miller family watches Tim Ullom
The Miller family enjoys the Tim Ullom concert live from their living room.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communications. ASD often comes with multiple other conditions such as anxiety, seizures and epilepsy, OCD, gastrointestinal symptoms, sleep problems, motor difficulties, and ADHD just to name a few. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 54 individuals have been identified with ASD. ASD is four times more common among boys than among girls and is growing at a rate of 10-17% every year. 

If your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or if you think there could be a problem with the way your child plays, learns, speaks or acts, talk to your child’s doctor and share your concerns. DON’T WAIT! To learn some of the red flags to watch for, you can visit