Why I’m Going to #LightItUpBlue for Understanding and Acceptance of Autism

How Much Do You Know About People With Autism

With several cousins of mine who are living with autism, I find it very important to raise awareness. I wanted to make sure I was a part of #LightItUpBlue in honor of my cousins and even some friends living with autism.

#LightItUpBlue

Since April is World Autism Month, I’ve decided to #LightItUpBlue with Autism Speaks to increase understanding and awareness of autism. This issue is very personal to me as I love my cousins very much who are living 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.

#LightItUpBlue

Autism refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

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.

Thankfully, most of my cousins were diagnosed at an early age. My aunts were able to seek out ways to help them manage through diet, therapy, and even just family support.

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 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.

You can help make a difference too by taking the Light It Up Blue Quiz to see how much you know about autism. If you’re moved to do so after visiting AutismSpeaks.org, please show your support for and understanding of the challenges faced by individuals with autism by sharing a photo to #LightItUpBlue for Autism Awareness Month too. Also, check out Autism Speaks’ nationwide calendar of autism-friendly friendly events and activities in April.

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