“With today being the official Autism Awareness Day, this brings about a very special opportunity to us moms and dads to make a difference in our own communities. Although we live this each and every day, the community doesn’t always do the same. However, the media is going to be mentioning that it is Autism Awareness Day, there will be “Light it up Blue” campaigns going on all around the globe and what better opportunity is there to talk about autism openly to raise awareness. It’s more than wearing blue or sticking on our blue puzzle piece pin, it’s about raising awareness. Go out in the community, share your story, talk to complete strangers about autism and give them an opportunity to learn. What better way to raise awareness than opening our own mouths?
Please take on this challenge; you’ll be glad you did!”
Let me explain why I think this is important. First and foremost, I simply love the idea of having the bulbs and lighting up our homes, I love that all across the globe iconic landmarks are taking the opportunity to light it up blue serve as a symbol of awareness. Although the blue puzzle piece is the symbol of Autism Speaks, the “Light it up blue” campaign has become what people recognize because of the blue buildings, statues and landmarks. These are all great things. But, I’m a strong believer that we cannot allow ourselves to only use Autism Awareness day as our only opportunity to raise awareness. We simply cannot afford to make it an annual event, a campaign that comes and goes.
As many of you who follow us on a regular basis know that we had the Autism: Coming of Age event at Weber State University last week. It was a tremendous success, we had a great turnout and most of all, we had so many people, many who were part of the planning with us, express their appreciation for learning more about autism, about the struggles as mom and dad we face, but more importantly, the struggles our kids face and will face as they grow older. These are real issues and issues that we cannot afford to wait for an annual reminder to our communities. Speaking out every day is a must. We have to be a collective voice, with our schools, our law enforcement, our government officials, our friends and family. We can light it up blue each and every day but simply opening our mouths to raise awareness, talking to anyone and everyone we can. Once we take that opportunity to do so, we will certainly be “lighting it up blue” and creating the awareness our community needs.