Walk Now, Act Now, for Autism Speaks

A recent letter from Suzanne and Bob Wright, co-founders of Autism Speaks, included a quote from Vietnamese author Thich Nhat Hanh: “Compassion is a verb.” Taking compassionate action is what makes a real difference in the world, and that kind of active support has allowed Autism Speaks to make great strides forward this year.

 Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi

A few of the organization’s achievements:Fifty thousand people honored loved ones with autism on April 2nd for World Autism Awareness Day, with rallies, candlelight vigils, and awareness games at professional sports events. The United Nations held a special panel on autism. As night fell, more than 18,600 monuments, buildings, places of worship and homes glowed with a beautiful blue light in 142 countries on every continent for Light It Up Blue.


There’s a genome project with Google to provide more data to scientists. The ABLE Act (Achieving a Better Life Experience) is now underway in all 50 states. The Autism Cares Act was passed and signed into law by President Obama in August 2014. And the first global conference on autism was held at the Vatican with an audience afterward with Pope Francis, where he called upon every Catholic to accept and support all people with autism.

 Pope Francis with Bob and Suzanne Wright at the Vatican

I’m a fervent believer in the work of Autism Speaks, which is why I wholeheartedly support their important work. I’ve written before about autism (you can read my posts here, here and here), and as a sponsor, I’ll be walking with my husband, Frank, and our three little Bichons, Tuffy, G.G. and Ellie again this year on Nantucket.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks begins at Jetties Beach on Saturday, August 15. It’s a two mile walk and community resource fair with lots of family and child-friendly activities, in addition to raising much needed funds for autism research, and generating awareness about the increasing prevalence of autism.

If you’re not on Nantucket, then go to this site to find out when there’s a Walk Now event in your area.


Autism Speaks.It’s time to listen.

Light It Up Blue!

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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.

Autisim Walk with Frank

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.

autism tree

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.

 

 

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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. 

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