Go Yellow

Australia's iconic landmarks to go yellow for autism cause

The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, CityLink's Bolte Bridge, Ballarat Town Hall and Canberra's Old Parliament House will all light up in yellow on Sunday 2 April to raise awareness of girls on the autism spectrum.

And in an inspirational show of support, Emma 'the Yellow Wiggle' has come on board as an ambassador for #GoYellow Day; she will meet with some of her biggest 'Yellow Ladybug' fans on Saturday 1 April before back-to-back concerts.

Yellow Ladybugs, an organisation supporting girls on the autism spectrum, has organised the show of support for World Autism Awareness Day to highlight the number of young females often misdiagnosed, misunderstood or missed completely.

Founder Katie Koullas says the organisation supports World Autism Awareness Day, which is traditionally blue, and any cause that supports awareness of the condition.

"However we have chosen a gender neutral colour, and hope this can highlight the misconception that autism mostly presents in males.

"We started Yellow Ladybugs in 2015 to help socially connect girls on the spectrum who were often missing out on birthday party invitations and unable to make friends at school.

"Autism spectrum is becoming one of the most commonly diagnosed disabilities in Australia with the latest research estimating 1 in 63 school-aged children have a formal diagnosis.

"Seeing Australia light up in yellow on Sunday 2 April will brighten the hearts of all our little Yellow Ladybugs; we are hoping the #GoYellow campaign eventually goes global and really changes the way the world sees and celebrates our girls," Ms Koullas said.

Yellow Ladybugs is also encouraging the community to don their favourite yellow outfits; turn their social media profiles yellow; or donate a yellow coin to gofundme.com/yellowladybugs in support of the cause on 2 April 2017.

Other events for #GoYellow Day:

  • Picnic for 'Yellow Ladybugs' (girls on the autism spectrum) at Melbourne Zoo, 9am and 11am (sold out).
  • 12.30pm BYO picnic for the general public at Melbourne Zoo - visitors are encouraged to wear yellow; children up to 15 years have free admission; follow the yellow trail to find the meeting point.

According to Ms Koullas, males officially exceed females with autism by up to 10 to 1, but those specialising in working with girls on the spectrum believe current tests are failing to pick up autism in girls - this means many families are struggling and unable to access the appropriate support.

Yellow Ladybugs ambassador and clinical psychologist Danuta Bulhak-Paterson says, "Autism is much tougher to spot in the girls, who have a very different presentation to boys on the spectrum and can mask their symptoms; they often give good eye contact and often observe before they have a go. So they're real social chameleons."

For media enquiries and visual opportunities contact Christina Koullas, CK PR, 0425 670 110, Christina@ckpr.com.au or Katie Koullas, Yellow Ladybugs, 0401 033 187, info@yellowladybugs.com.au