Due to the fact that Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States, April 2nd has been designated at World Autism Awareness Day. Since these facts are serious indeed, the entire month of April has been set aside as Autism Awareness Month!
Statistics have grown in the past 10 years. People were afraid when approximately 1 in 150 children were diagnosed, then statistics became even more frightening when it was 1 in 100 children. Today, just a few short years later, those statistics are 1 in 88. Males are in even more danger since their statistics are 1 in 54.
Since the professionals are now concentrating their efforts to figure out why these statistics are rising, Autism Speaks, the world’s leading Autism science and advocacy organization are leading the way. This year will mark their fourth annual Light it Up Blue (LIUB) Campaign.
LIUB was designed to rally everyday individuals, celebrities and even specific landmarks worldwide to Light Up Blue in order to shine a light on Autism. The more the word gets out, the bigger and brighter the Blue shines each year.
This year Autism Speaks is striving to rally 5,000 iconic structures and landmarks in 88 countries over seven continents (including Antarctica!) to join in the illuminations. Some of the famous blue landmarks include:
· The Empire State Building in New York City
· Niagara Falls in Canada
· The Sydney Opera House in Austalia
· The Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt
· Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil
· The International Space Station in Earth’s Orbit
· Elvis’ Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee
· The New Orleans Superdome in Louisiana
Although you may not be a famous landmark, or even a celebrity, it does not matter; everyone is invited to get involved. It takes very little to show your support. There are three methods in which you are able to participate:
1. Illuminate by changing your everyday white light bulb to a blue light bulb. Then get your friends and relatives to light up their homes; convince area businesses, local area schools and your place of worship to shine blue. If you are a social networking operative, make your website shine blue, too.
2. Donate by texting Autism at 25383 in order to donate $10 to Autism Speaks. If you are not a texting aficionado, go online to LightItUpBlue.org in order to make your donation.
3. Advocate by calling President Obama and your local Congressmen or women so that those in charge develop and implement a comprehensive national plan that will address Autism. To get started, again log onto LightItUpBlue.org and sign the Autism Petition.
The more awareness that you can derive, the more that Autism will shine in the limelight or shall we say ‘bluelight?’ Each individual can make a difference. You can, too!