Light It Up Blue: Autism Awareness Month

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Rachel, A.K.A. Miss Rachel, is one of my dear friends. I like to call her my spirit sister because we connect on a much different level than everyday friends do. We are both interested in the good of people and helping others. We will go out of our way for most anyone and have a special place in our heart for those in need. Rachel is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior and Applied Behavior Analysis and will graduate this June! When she is not in class, she is busy serving as a Clinical Supervisor/Behavior Therapist and helping tons of kiddos. Over the years, I’ve become more and more aware of children and special needs because of her – especially Autism. There is so much speculation and controversy over what causes Autism and it is becoming more and more prevalent these days. It’s an issue that is affecting tons of families and we hope that we can somehow find a way to prevent this in the future.

April is Autism Awareness Month and today is World Autism Day. Wear your blue and support good causes!

And now I will turn it over to Rachel…

Autism pioneer Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas once said,

“If they can’t learn the way we teach, we teach the way they learn.”

Today is April 2, now to you it is just one more day until Friday but today is World Autism Day. Today stands for bringing awareness to most prevalent and fastest-growing development disorder in the United States. 1 out of 68 children are affected.

Autism is represented by a puzzle piece. The puzzle piece signifies many parts of autism because no diagnosis is the same. Autism is complex, we don’t know the cause and there is no cure. There is no cure for this disorder, NO CURE. Autism has different characteristics the complexity of the disorder affects communication and social skills. The puzzle piece is suppose to reflect the complexity of these issues as well as the diversity of those who are affected, from patients and families, to teachers and researchers. The puzzle piece to me represents a voice. It carries awareness, advocacy, compassion, drive and understanding. It represents hope to which one day all the pieces will fit together to give us the big picture.

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You may or may not have an opinion about what causes autism. I am not going to spark a debate on the beliefs, controversies or conspiracies surrounding Autism Spectrum Disorders simply because today is about the AWARENESS. This month is about letting our communities know about this disorder. I am here to ADVOCATE.

Autism Speaks is a very well known organization that sponsors autism research and provides outreach to the public. The “Light It Up Blue” campaign is generated by the Autism Speaks organization. It was created to raise awareness and educate the world. This campaign has been very successful and “ Light It Up Blue” is worldwide recognized from the Empire State Building in New York to China’s Oriental Pearl Tower!

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So, why the color blue to represent ASD?

Well, the color blue represents the boys diagnosed with autism. It is five times more prevalent in boys, 1 in 54. Girls are affected 1 in 252. Families are affected.

How can you “Light It Up Blue”?

It is so easy! Wear Blue! I have my friends, family and clients participate by buying blue light bulbs to shine the light on autism. I get my light bulbs at Home Depot. At my house we light up blue for the entire month!

I stand by Dr. Lovaas quote because it is the truth. In fact I would take a step further to even say that it’s these children teach me. I lend them my voice and they teach me lessons. I may not have a child with autism or a family member with the diagnoses but I will continue to teach, advocate and make a difference.

So, shine a light on autism and wear your blue!

Love,
Miss Rachel

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