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Why You, Too, Should Light it Up Blue for Autism

Thursday, April 2nd, is World Autism Awareness Day. On that day, hundreds of thousands of people and communities from all around the world join together with Autism Speaks, one of the largest Autism Awareness Organizations, to bring awareness through a campaign known as Light It Up Blue. Sign up to have your name added to the support list, and to receive a packet of information! 

#LIUB #AutismAwareness

Through this effort, and many others, most people today have heard of Autism. Many know what Autism is, but for those of you who may not, here is a really informal definition: Autism is a hidden disability, a neurological disorder that causes the affected person to think differently, act differently and process things differently, than the average bear. It is a spectrum disorder, which means that it’s symptoms often manifest themselves differently from person to person. You may have heard the saying, “If you’ve met one person with Autism, you’ve met one person with Autism.”. It is absolutely true.

The latest CDC findings suggest 1 in 68 children will receive an Autism diagnosis by the age of 8. Today, there are an estimated 2,000,000 people living with Autism in the US, many doing so without the supports they need to live successful and independent lives – this number does not include those diagnosed with Aspergers (a form of Autism), PDD or any other spectrum disorders. For the full CDC report, go here.

So, why is this important to me? Easy Peasy. We live with 1 of the 1 in 68.. Our son has Autism. We love him fiercely and think he’s pretty spectacular. Having him has changed our lives in all the very best ways and I admire him more than just about anyone I know. Autism Awareness Day, to me, is the day that the whole world sees my child as important and admires him as much as I do. On April 2nd, he is on equal footing with everyone. He belongs and he’s in the thick of it.. and the whole world has his back, and ours. And, that, my friends, is really cool.   

So, why should this be important to you? Why should you Light it Up Blue? For a few reasons really. The most important reason is because the 1 person in 68 will undoubtedly, within your lifetime, be someone that you know.. maybe you already know someone, and maybe it’s even someone that you care about. Lighting it Up Blue shows you support them. 

There are other reasons, too. You might care because..  

  •  Humans tend to be afraid of what is not understood. Fear creates misunderstandings and stigmas – both of which are easily negated with education. Knowledge is power! 
  • Improving understanding of Autism will improve every aspect of a person with Autism’s life. 
  • Removing stigmas associated will improve the chances of early diagnosis and earlier support. 
  • Educating will lower the incidents of bullying.  
  • Gaining acceptance helps to ensure that those with Autism have access to the right supports. 
  • Gaining acceptance also improves employment prospects for adults in the autistic community, both directly or indirectly. 
  • Because your support will help to pave the way for further education reform for our Special Needs youth – they have a lot to give to the world.   
    Lighting It Up Blue shows you understand and that you care. So, what do you say? Will you, too, Light it Up Blue on April 2nd? If you need some ideas for how you can show your support, go here for a list of Ten Easy Ways You Can Light it Up Blue.Thanks for your support!

    For more information on Light it Up Blue or Autism, check out the Autism Speaks website.

    Ten Easy Ways You Can Light it Up Blue for Autism

    Thursday, April 2nd,  is World Autism Awareness Day. On that day, hundreds of thousands of people and communities from all around the world join together with Autism Speaks, one of the largest Autism Awareness Organizations, to bring awareness through a campaign known as Light It Up Blue. Sign up to have your name added to the support list, and to receive a packet of information!

    The latest CDC findings suggest 1 in 68 children will have received an autism diagnosis by the age of 8. There are an estimated 2,000,000 people living with Autism in the US, many doing so without the supports they need to live successful and independent lives – this number does not include those diagnosed with Aspergers (a form of Autism), PDD or any other spectrum disorders. For the full CDC report, go here.

    World Autism Awareness Day is an event that is close to our hearts. We live with 1 of the 1 in 68.. Our son has autism. We love him fiercely and think he’s pretty spectacular. Having him has changed our lives in all the very best ways and I admire him more than just about anyone I know. Autism Awareness Day, to me, is the day that the whole world sees my child as important and admires him as much as I do. On April 2nd, he is on equal footing with everyone. He belongs and he’s in the thick of it.. and the whole world has his back, and ours. And, that, my friends, is really cool.

    If you still aren’t sure why you should Light it Up Blue, check this out.

    If you’re totally on board and looking for ways that you can show your support, look no further and just scroll on down the page!

    Ten Easy Ways You Can Light it Up Blue

    1. Make a donation to an organization of your choice that supports Autism

    Here are a few that I support:


    2. Get a manicure
    Autism Awareness Collage

     

    Blue with Puzzle Piece | French Tip |
    Blue on Blue Glitter | Marble |

    3. Make some pancakes

    Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes @ Girl Makes Food |

    4. Light up your house – You can pick up a blue light bulb at Home Depot – part of the proceeds go towards Autism Speaks and autism research.

    Using LIUB to Explain Autism to Classmates |
    Try Defying Gravity | Kevin Lucia |

    5. Wear blue (contains affiliate links)


    Blue Ruffle Short-Sleeve Top| Stella Mccartney Faux Leather Shoulder Bag |Kendra Scott Rayne Stone Tassel Pendant Necklace |Taolei Turquoise Tassel & Bead Earrings  |Etro paisley print scarf  |Miller Sandal|Printed Tech Ponte Skirt  |Kimchi Blue Chambray Off-The-Shoulder Romper |Alex and Ani You Complete Me Charm Bangle National Autism Association |

     

    6. Read your child – or yourself – a story (contains affiliate links)

    10. Listen to a songAs you can see, it’s easy to participate, and I hope that you will. It would mean the world to us! If you do, be sure to send pictures of how you Lit it Up Blue, I’d love to see them! If you’d like to read more about our story, go here. For other ideas, and more information on Light it Up Blue or Autism, check out the Autism Speaks website.

    James Scott – Through My Eyes (Autism Awareness Song)

    Katy Perry and Jodi DiPiazza sing Fireworks

    As you can see, it’s easy to participate, and I hope that you will. It would mean the world to us!
    If you do, be sure to send pictures of how you Lit it Up Blue, I’d love to see them!
    If you’d like to read more about how we bring awareness to our community, check here.
    For other ideas, and more information on Light it Up Blue or Autism, check out the Autism Speaks website.

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    Thank you, Dr. King, from a parent of a child with autism

    I wasn’t always as keenly aware of just how grateful I should be to Dr. King for his tireless efforts and contributions to the world we live in today. I’ve unfortunately usually been rather ignorant of such things. I knew he was a great man. I knew he dedicated his life to greater equality for all, but I didn’t understand how that affected me specifically. I had never really felt the sting of inequality – I still doubt I feel it as acutely as those Dr. King was fighting for, but I have felt it. Having autism in my life changed my views on so many things. It goes without saying that I should have had more appreciation. I’m ashamed that I was that ignorant. But, like most of us, it wasn’t until I lived it that I understood it. Funny thing about an understanding of your struggles, it opens your eyes to the understanding of the possible struggles of others. Sometimes understanding is the most important thing needed for change.

    Dr. King’s trials and sacrifices in the 60s created the dialogue necessary to pave the way for equality for all citizens, those with special needs included. We mustn’t forget that not long ago, most special needs persons were institutionalized.  Deinstitutionalization didn’t come in the 60s.. it didn’t come until much later – the 70s – but it did come. There is still miles to go in the area of education for special needs students, but today, I feel it is important to appreciate the progress we’ve made. If you’re interested, you can gather a better understanding of that progress here. Without Dr. Kings contributions we wouldn’t have this progress. He opened the gateway. He made people stand up and start fighting for equality and against injustices.

    Will he be a firefighter?

    Just 50 years ago, my son would have been institutionalized, and all of the horrors that we now know went along with that. He would not have had the right to an education. I would like to believe that with the love I have for him, and my belief in his abilities if we’d lived in that time that I would be doing what I am right now. I’d like to think I’d be teaching him and reaching him on his terms – but the beliefs in those days make me wonder if I’d have understood enough to fight the system.

    Dr. King’s life and example not only gave us what he fought for – equality – but so much more as well. Through his example, he’s given us all the courage to keep on fighting, to keep on trying, and to keep on striving for understanding, for ourselves and for those we love who aren’t as able to fight for themselves.

    When he said, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals”,  he could have been speaking directly to so many parents that I know and admire. Those who see the potential in their children and work tirelessly to harness it within them, and help others to see what they see.  He could have been speaking to so many children I know who get up every day and work towards their potential, struggling to fit into the world when they’d much rather stay lost in their own. And, he could have been speaking to me, reminding me that even though it can get a little rough, the road to greatness is rarely simple. Greatness requires one to keep on pushing.. keep on keeping on, but that we’ll get there.

    .. or a volcanologist?

    I don’t know what my son will ultimately contribute to the world.. Nobody does. But, I know he will make a memorable contribution. And, I know that today, Ayden gives so much more than he takes. I am so thankful to live in a world that, for the most part, sees that, and in one that allows him the opportunity to figure the rest out.  Dr. King, you are the reason for that, There are no words to thank you. So, today, I honor you and your life. And, thank you in all the ways I know how. Thank you.

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