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