Join me and AUTISM SPEAKS in celebrating WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS on April 2. We are going to LIGHT IT UP BLUE. This is the sixth year of the global initiative to help raise awareness of this growing health concern. Major buildings around the world are going BLUE for Autism! The Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Sydney Opera House, Aspen Mountains, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro and many others are turning on the blue lights. How about you? At my local Home Depot they have a prominent display of blue lights as you walk in the door. My porch light is going to burn blue all month-long! Why not join others in making a statement in our fight against Autism?
My nephew is one of the heroes in my life. He is in his 20s and is autistic. He lives in a group home, works in the cafeteria in a nearby school and does several other part-time jobs. He loves working with animals, straightening shelves and telling Knock-Knock jokes. He attends church with his housemates and loves to go on adventures with his family. I have learned a lot about autism by watching Garon. Sometimes behavior is not ‘normal’ and strangers can easily misunderstand. Other times an autistic person looks no different from the child playing right next to them. Families with autistic children make many sacrifices, they have to figure out how to get around a particular issue or habit and they need the help of many to make it work. Autism is a wide spectrum of behavior. No person is exactly like another. So there is much sacrifice on the part of families. I admire Garon’s family so much. They have had a lifetime of loving Garon and will not slow down in making his life better. But I do know it can take its toll on families. If you know someone with autism, can you love on them today? Can you get involved in helping find a solution to this debilitating disease?
My gift to Garon each year at Christmas is a weekend with Aunt Diane. We have had many adventures together!! He is always eager to get here and cannot wait to see what project we will work on. This year we will be going to an Oriole’s game also!! He is a huge fan. It is my joy to love him and to stay involved in his life. I look forward to his weekly calls and his reports on life in the house and at work….plus his Knock-Knock jokes are really funny!
What can you do? Change your Facebook profile picture BLUE here. Post about it on your Facebook status. Tweet about autism. Give to organizations that are working to help autistic families. Get a blue light. Talk to your friend about their autistic child, because I am sure you know someone. LIGHT IT UP BLUE .If you are not aware of the realities of the autism spectrum of disorders, please check out more information here.