An organization that has always been close to my heart is Autism Speaks, and their fabulous month-long campaign called Light It Up Blue.
I’ve supported Autism Speaks for years, alarmed by the rapid increase in children affected by the disorder. I have written about autism every year since I began this blog in 2011. My most recent post is here.
My husband, Frank, and our Bichons at Walk Now for Autism Speaks
Autism is a general term for a group of complex disorders of brain development. One in 68 children per year are diagnosed with disorders on the autism spectrum today, a forty fold increase in the last ten years. For boys, the rate is four to five times that of girls, at one in 42. The rate for girls is one in 189. I’ve walked on Nantucket to raise money and awareness (Walk Now for Autism Speaks: there are walks all over the country–check it out!), and in 2013 created a very special holiday tree to honor the families who struggle with autism and to help bring attention to their search for a cure.
Nantucket Whaling Museum’s Festival of Trees, 2013
World Autism Awareness Day is on April 2, 2015, and kicks off a month of autism awareness with Light It Up Blue. Light It Up Blue (LIUB) asks everyone to honor people with autism worldwide. Buildings, landmarks, hotels, concert halls, schools, and thousands of homes will light it up blue. This year, even the Great Pyramid in Egypt will Light It Up Blue!
Here’s how you can help:
- Light your homes, businesses and schools blue! Change outdoor and indoor light bulbs to blue bulbs.
- Wear blue: ties, scarfs, shirts, shoes! Ask your family and friends to wear blue, too.
- Post blue. Use Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram and Pinterest to share your support for Light It Up Blue. Use the hash tag #LIUB.
- Distribute information about autism and Light It Up Blue in your community.
- And of course, donate!
The Cleveland Clinic is doing their part, too. Beginning Monday, April 13th through Sunday, April 19th, 43 participating Panera Bread bakery-cafes in Northeast Ohio will bake a specialty puzzle piece shortbread cookie and donate 100% of the proceeds to the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Autism. Not in northeast Ohio? You can purchase a virtual cookie here.