Light It Up Blue For World Autism Day!
On April 2nd, people all over the globe come together and celebrate World Autism Awareness Month by “lighting it up blue” to show support. If you don’t know what that means, you’re not alone – the United Nations dedicated this day to Autism only a decade ago, so the holiday is still finding its footing in the mainstream consciousness. It’s still an incredibly important day and is worthy of celebration, as it’s for a great cause.
Autism Spectrum Disorder, or Autism as it is often referred to, is a mental condition, typically present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts. About 1% of the world population has this condition, with 3.5 million of them living in the United States. Autism Spectrum Disorder encompasses a number of different conditions, such as Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). The symptoms can vary from person to person, but one common reason parents or teachers might suspect that a child has Autism is when they have trouble communicating with peers, parents, and others. With that being said, children with ASD, like all children, are unique and have their own personalities independent from the condition, so they may exhibit different symptoms than others.
On this day, a great way to show that you support autism awareness is to wear blue, as Autism Speaks has suggested. If you feel so inclined, you can take your show of support further in a number of different ways. One such way is by participating in the Autism Walk, hosted by Autism Speaks. Another way is to volunteer with local Autism organizations, such as Autism Society or the Global Autism Project. If you’re feeling exceptionally generous, you can donate to the Autism Research Institute to help researchers make scientific breakthroughs in this area (24 Hour Home Care isn’t affiliated with any of these organizations, but they do a lot of good!).
Autism Spectrum Disorder isn’t curable, but it can be treated. Part of that treatment involves therapies and different forms of learning and communication, but in order for it to be most effective, we as a community have to accept those with Autism for who they are and celebrate the differences that make them unique and incredible people. We must do more than be aware of Autism – we must listen to those who have the condition and hear their needs in order to make the world a better, more inclusive place for them.
So it is in this vein that we encourage you to wear blue today and let others know why you’re showing your support. Inform your friends and family members about ASD and consider participating with the aforementioned organizations. And remember to be kind to those with Autism – they are every bit deserving of the respect and consideration you’d give to any other person, and taking a moment to show you care will make the world a better place!