Why I'm Going to #LightItUpBlue for Understanding and Acceptance!
Since April is World Autism Month, our family will #LightItUpBlue with Autism Speaks to increase understanding and awareness of autism. Of course, it should go without mentioning for those of you who visit my blog often, that this is a deeply personal topic for me as a mom of a teen with autism. It's highly likely that you know someone with autism too since the CDC estimates autism's prevalence as 1 in every 68 children in the United States.
Autism's most obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Autism Speaks encourages parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes.
Richie was diagnosed at close to three years old, but I knew he had autism before his first birthday. I wrote about our experience as a family here: "When you first hear the words: Your Child has Autism."
The "Light It Up Blue" campaign is about more than awareness -- it is about increasing understanding and acceptance of autism. This includes advocacy and support for people across the entire spectrum throughout their lives. It also includes advancing research into personalized treatments for autism and related conditions. I encourage you to test your understanding of autism by taking this quiz!
Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include GI disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.
Although this is a Bloggin' Mama's campaign effort, this is a deeply personal topic for me and my family. We participate in the Light It Up Blue awareness effort annually on our own!