autism, autism awareness, Autism Speaks, autistic children, board of education, children with special needs, educational progress, philanthropic work, special needs kids, Walk Now for Autism, working moms, writers
April is Autism Awareness month and my family and I were determined to take part in the annual April 2nd Light It Up Blue initiative. What I find remarkable about this day is that it allows people with and without autism to show their support for autism research by simply lighting a blue candle, putting up a sign, or even dress in the color blue.
I knew prior to April 2nd that my family and I were going to wear the color blue and we inspired our co-workers and even our Facebook and Twitter friends to do the same in order to support the cause. And although people close to our family mentioned that they were going to partake in the event, I have to say that I became a bit emotional when they not only wore blue on April 2nd, but also vowed to wear the color blue for the entire week! What’s even more marvelous is that people I work with spread the word to their friends and their friends spread the Light It Up Blue initiative to their co-workers. People who have never met my son or even know people with autism were willing to take part in a cause because they simply cared!
I am also proud to say that my son’s school, P.S. 22 in New Jersey, has taken a further step and ordered shirts for the staff and students that they will wear the entire month of April!
With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention revealing that there is now 1 in 88 children diagnosed with autism (which equates to over 1 million autistic children in the U.S.) I think that it is important to be proactive and continue to support more prenatal screenings as well as insist that our schools hire educators that are well equipped with setting our children (both autistic and normal developed) up for success.
In honor of Autism Awareness month I pledge to continue my work as a parent of a child with autism as well as remain a supporter of the fight for continued research for the cause of this “epidemic” as well as a cure.