A day of pride and celebration

I’m sure anyone who would happen upon this blog has heard of this awareness campaign. For those who haven’t, starting tonight and ending on April 3rd, families affected by Autism will change their outside light bulbs to blue. The idea is to create an opportunity to communicate and educate others about Autism. Hopefully, your neighbors, friends and family will ask why your house is blue, and you can raise awareness.

This is a campaign that originates with Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to Autism awareness and education, among other things Autism related.

This is exciting for me. My first event as an official Autism Mom. A chance to help others understand that Autism is not always “rainman.” That while Autism affects 1 in 110, not every one of those affected children is the same. As a matter of fact, most of them are very different. That they are still people. That they still have feelings and emotions, even if some of them have trouble identifying feelings and emotions of others.

There seems to be differing opinions regarding this day. Some people stating that EVERY day should be a chance to educate the public. Some saying that Autism Speaks is hardly the most wonderful source of information and ideals within our community.

I can’t say that I completely understand the division. We are a community. I would even go so far as to say we are a family.  Naturally, every day should be a day for education and raising awareness but that isn’t always going to be enough. This reaches far and wide. It provides opportunities that we might not otherwise have.

But (and I realize I shouldn’t begin a sentence like this, but sometimes it fits), it is more than just education and awareness for me. It is PRIDE. It breaks down the barriers and stigma. We are NOT refrigerator mothers! We are proud of our children and believe in WHO they are. They are wonderful, fun-loving, silly, quirky and deliciously NOMable. Just like typical children. I want to shout that to the world!

I am not ashamed of my child and his differences. While I don’t believe that everyone who opposes Light it Up Blue are ashamed, I am going to take this opportunity to show the world the beauty that is my baby boy.

As for me and my house.. we shall be awash in blue. I will feel pride every time I drive past a house lit in blue, and I will cry tears of happiness as I watch the country join in my celebration.

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