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Autism awareness: How you can Light It Up Blue

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Light It Up Blue to support autism awareness

Did you know that in the last two decades there has been a 600 percent increase of children diagnosed with autism? The increase is partly explained by improved diagnosis, but other factors have also contributed to this significant leap in children with this condition. Because autism is widespread yet widely misunderstood, SheKnows is joining the Light It Up Blue movement. This global initiative by Autism Speaks www.autismspeaks.com that encourages businesses and individuals to get involved by “lighting up” blue on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, to help bring attention to the disorder. Here's how you can light it up blue, too.
Blue light bulb
Light It Up Blue

to support autism awareness

Did you know that in the last two decades there has been a 600 percent increase of children diagnosed with autism? The increase is partly explained by improved diagnosis, but other factors have also contributed to this significant leap in children with this condition. Because autism is widespread yet widely misunderstood, SheKnows is joining the Light It Up Blue movement. This global initiative by Autism Speaks encourages businesses and individuals to get involved by "lighting up" blue on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, to help bring attention to the disorder. Here's how you can light it up blue, too.

What is World Autism Awareness Day?

In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared April 2 World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD). The aim is to raise awareness of this pervasive disorder that affects tens of millions worldwide. Not only do WAAD activities offer information about the importance of early diagnosis and intervention, they also celebrate the unique talents and skills of people with autism and give them as well as their loved ones much-needed emotional support.

Learn more about autism >>

What is Autism Speaks?

Autism Speaks, which helped establish WAAD and the Light It Up Blue initiative, is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. The organization was founded in 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $173 million to research and developing resources for families affected by autism. To learn about the research into the causes, prevention, treatments, a possible cure for autism, notable awareness initiatives and family/community resources, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.

Your child has autism. Now what? >>

Ways you can Light It Up Blue

In its third year, Light It Up Blue is an autism awareness campaign that includes iconic landmarks, businesses and individuals around the world that will "go blue" on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day. You can join in the movement as an individual or as a business. Pledge to Light It Up Blue and share your events!

Here are some ways you can Light It Up Blue

Light up blue home kitPurchase a participation kit

You can show your support by purchasing a Light It Up Blue kit, with net proceeds of your purchase going toward Autism Speaks.

Light your house up blue

Purchase special blue light bulbs and lanterns from your local Home Depot and replace outdoor lighting and a few indoor lights with blue bulbs. If you have a business, buy blue lighting fixtures from Rosco to put on your exterior lighting fixtures.

Have a blue party

Gather your family and friends together for a blue-themed party. Encourage your guests to wear blue and bring a dish or appetizer made with a blue food, such as blueberries, blue corn chips, blue potato salad, bleu cheese, blue Jell-O, or purple foods that give off a shade of blue when included in food.

Blue accessoriesWear blue

The easiest way to support Light It Up Blue on WAAD is wear something blue. We love these blue fashion accessories. Be sure to encourage your co-workers to wear blue April 2, too.

Talk about it

You spend plenty of time Facebooking, tweeting and pinning on Pinterest. Take the opportunity to raise awareness about autism on your social networking sites. Tell your friends and followers about WAAD and how they can light it up blue to bring attention to autism.

For more information, visit LightItUpBlue.org and spread the word. SheKnows is lighting up blue -- how about you?

More on autism

How Toni Braxton is fighting son's autism
The basics of autism: An overview
10 Things you should know about autism

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