Light It Up Blue For Autism {April 2nd}

As many of you know my youngest son, Lucas, is on the Autism Spectrum. I’d be honored if you’d join me and Autism Speaks in the “Light It Up Blue” campaign to raise awareness for Autism.

Each April 2, Autism Speaks celebrates Light It Up Blue along with the international autism community, in commemoration of the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day. Light It Up Blue is a unique global initiative that kicks-off Autism Awareness Month and helps raise awareness about autism. In honor of this historic day, many iconic landmarks, hotels, sporting venues, concert halls, museums, bridges and retail stores are among the hundreds of thousands of homes and communities that take part to Light It Up Blue.

Here are some ideas of how you can participate as an individual or family:

  • Where blue clothing tomorrow
  • Purchase a blue light bulb (Walmart and Home Depot stores have them) and change your porch light to a blue bulb
  • Spread the word via social media by updating your Facebook status or tweeting out an Autism fact.
  • Sign the petition to ask President Obama and Congress to develop and implement a comprehensive national plan to address autism.
  • Participate virtually by taking photos on your smartphone and lighting them up blue with a festive picture frame. Email them, or share on your social networks to become part of the Light It Up Blue movement. (Get the app here)
  • Make a donation to Autism Speaks

Here are some facts from Autism Speaks that you can share:

  • Every 11 minutes, a child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
  • Autism now affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys
  • Autism prevalence figures are growing
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
  • Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases

If you participate I’d love to see pictures! Feel free to share them on the Making Time For Mommy Facebook page :)

Zoos Go Blue

I recently learned about “Zoos Go Blue” and am really excited to share about this with you all. Through a national partnership with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, member Zoos & Aquariums from across North America will be participating in the inaugural “ZOOS GO BLUE” event in April to support Autism Awareness Month. Find out if your zoo is participating here. You can register for up to 6 people for free basic admission and parking.

If you live in the Chicago area, Brookfield Zoo’s special event is April 28th. The Zoo is also going blue that day so I’m really excited to visit with my family and see everything lit up blue.

In addition, there is a toolkit for families who want to visit the zoo that will help them prepare their child for the visit. Lucas is a little young for this but I think it’s a great resource for families with older children. (The toolkit can be found at the link provided above.)

(Disclosure: Like most of my Autism related posts this is not sponsored and I’m not affiliated with any Zoo, other than having a membership to one that I paid for with my own money.)

 

Blue Flowers For Autism Awareness

In the month of April you will see a lot of reference to the color blue here on my blog and elsewhere. This is because on April 2nd it is Autism Speaks’ “Light It Up Blue” day to raise awareness for Autism. Some buildings even turn blue! I’ll be sharing more about it on my blog in a few days but wanted to share about FTD’s deals, donation towards Autism Speaks, and especially their BLUE flowers! What a great gift to give a parent raising a child with Autism.

Here’s more information:

FTD is going blue for Autism Speaks! FTD has created a website for all supporters of Autism Speaks! All customers get a 15% discount with orders bought through here: http://www.ftd.com/34384/

PLUS they’re offering an additional 10% of each purchase to be donated back to Autism Speaks. Their network of more than 12,000 florists offer a huge selection of fresh flowers, plants, premium gourmet foods, gifts and gift baskets. Let’s Light It Up Blue and buy something special for your special someone!

(Disclosure: I’m not affiliated with FTD, just had to share what they are doing to help families like mine who have a loved one with Autism.)

Light It Up Blue Today {Autism Awareness Month}

Light It Up Blue, in its third year, is a unique global initiative by Autism Speaks to help raise awareness about the growing public health concern that is autism. Iconic landmarks around the world will Light It Up Blue to show their support on April 2, 2012 – World Autism Awareness Day.

HOW YOU CAN SHOW YOUR SUPPORT:

1) Wear blue today

2) Purchase blue light bulbs from Home Depot and replace your outdoor lights with blue ones

3) Change your Facebook status or profile picture to the Light It Up Blue logo (found here)

4) Bake cookies and ice them with blue frosting to pass out to friends or coworkers

5) Tweet facts about Autism and use the hashtag #lightitupblue

6) Donate to Autism Speaks

7) Add the Light It Up Blue logo to your email signature

8) Shop at places that are donating a portion of today’s profits to an Autism organization

World Autism Awareness Day

The month of April is Autism Awareness Month and today, April 2nd, has been declared as World Autism Awareness Day. I will be wearing blue today as I join in on the Light It Up Blue Campaign.

What is autism? According to Wikipedia.org- “Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood.”

What amazed me was reading how many children were affected by Autism. According to Autism Speaks- “one in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.” Wow, and this site says that in the United States (where I live) the “current estimates” are that ” one out of 70 boys is diagnosed with autism“. That number seems so high to me and this website says that the number of children being diagnosed is growing each year!

So once I learned a little about what Autism was and how many of our children it’s affecting I wanted to know the warning signs of Autism. I found this list of “red flags” to look for. This site, and many other ones that I have looked at, suggest that if your baby shows a couple (or more) of these “signs” then you should take your child to the doctor for an evaluation.

I will do another post later this month about Autism and will hopefully have a special giveaway related to Autism then, too. As for now let’s all wear blue to raise awareness for this cause that is affecting more and more children every day.