Why I’m Going to #LightItUpBlue for Understanding and Acceptance

Since April is World Autism Month, I’ve decided to #LightItUpBlue with Autism Speaks to increase understanding and awareness of autism. The issue is deeply personal to me as an aunt of a child with autism. It’s highly likely that you know someone with autism too since the CDC estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in every 68 children in the United States.

Autism refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

Autism’s most obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Autism Speaks encourages parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes.

The “Light It Up Blue” campaign is about more than awareness -- it is about increasing understanding and acceptance of autism.  This includes advocacy and support for people across the entire spectrum throughout their lives. It also includes advancing research into personalized treatments for autism and related conditions.  I encourage you test your understanding of autism by taking this quiz!

Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include GI disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.

You can help make a difference too by taking the Light It Up Blue Quiz to see how much you know about autism. If you’re moved to do so after visiting AutismSpeaks.org, please show your support for and understanding of the challenges faced by individuals with autism by sharing a photo to #LightItUpBlue for Autism Awareness Month too. Also, check out Autism Speaks’ nationwide calendar of autism-friendly friendly events and activities in April.

Do you know someone with autism?

If you are a parent of a child with special needs, you might find these resources helpful:

- cpfamilynetwork.org – a compassionate community that provides resources for loved ones with Cerebral Palsy.

- Learn about Financial Planning for Kids with Special Needs

- Read about Colleges for People with Developmental Disabilities


  1. It's unbelievable to me that now 1 in 68 children in the US has Autism. I'm so glad strides are being made toward a better understanding of it. I also think recourses and research in the field are getting better. Understanding is key!

  2. Love this!! I would like to think its understood by many but some days I wonder!! I used to work in mental health and even the facility I worked in didn't accept those with autism due to lack of education and treatment available there. Its so limited!! I will be happy to wear light blue to spread awareness!!

  3. I do know very much about autism and work in a school so I am very aware about it. It is important for all of us to know about this and be more compassionate to people who are affected by Autism.
    twinkle at optonline dot net

  4. When so many children are diagnosed with Autism we need to do more about it. I am going to AutismSpeaks.org to show my support and understanding.

  5. I am also an aunt of a child with autism. It was a difficult subject to broach because it seemed the parents were in denial.

  6. So great for awareness. Knowing and understanding makes us more capable to be inclusive. I was a teacher form many years and only ever had one child on the Autism spectrum- Aspbergers.


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