Wednesday, March 28, 2012
April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day, which kicks off Autism Awareness Month through April. Autism Speaks encourages people each year to "Light It Up Blue" by replacing your regular lightbulb on your porch with a blue one for one day (April 2nd). You might be asking yourself, how can lighting up my house with a blue lightbulb help in the fight against autism? To me, it's more about awareness and understanding of this mysterious disorder. What would happen if everyone took a day to become more aware of autism? There might be fewer people staring and making rude comments to parents fighting to keep their autistic child calm at the grocery store and other public places, there might be more bills passed to assure that insurance will cover treatments for these beautiful children, there might be more parents who would recognize the warning signs in their own children and get early intervention treatment so that their child might live the best, fullest life possible. What is my hope? That each of my friends and family would take a moment to learn more about autism. There are many websites that offer wonderful insight...a couple of my favorites are autismspeaks.org and reallookautism.com. And then head to Home Depot this week and buy a blue lightbulb to light up your porch on April 2nd. Tell your neighbors why you are doing this and encourage them to learn more about autism. You will not be alone; many prominent buildings and landmarks will also be lighting it up blue, including the Empire State Building, Niagara Falls, the Sydney Opera House, the CN Tower, the Cairo Tower, and Rockefeller Center. Will you pledge with me to open your eyes to this epidemic that now affects an estimated 1 in 110 children, including 1 in 70 boys? (And many believe that these are very conservative estimates.) Thank you, from me, my son, and my entire family!