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Hear From the Woman Behind Lighting Graceland Blue

Hi my name is Cynthia Wynn-Brandon (Cindy) and I am an autism mom. Craig and I have been married for 21 years. We have two wonderful children Savannah is 12 and Noah is 9. Noah has autism and it has been a challenge at times, but it can also be pretty crazy at times. We are a home school family so we spend A LOT of time together. I got started with Autism Speaks two years ago when Kathy Streng, our Regional Walk Director, came to Memphis and the rest of the story is still being written. Kathy is a tremendous resource for me; she is truly a part of our puzzle piece family. 

Autism awareness is very important to me, I want the world to under this complex disorder, I don’t want people to look at my child and see autism, I want them to see a person. I want them to see WHO Noah is. I returned to school, Liberty University Online, to obtain my Psychology degree I will be done the end of the year. My plans for 2013 is start my non-profit Foundations for the Future, it will be a program for adolescents and adults to teach independent living skills, job related skills and employment placement. That is my focus as Noah is growing up, how will he learn these essential skills, so that is how the idea came about. I will also offer counseling for the family because autism has a profound impact on the entire family unit.

Lighting Graceland up blue was a thought I had last year around April. I contacted Graceland and there was not enough time to do it. So this year I decided to start in January thinking that it might give them enough time to work out the details. It just seemed like the “thing to do” since I live in Memphis, Elvis was pretty fond of the color blue: Blue Suede Shoes, Blue Christmas, and Blue Hawaii.

I threw the idea out to a few of my Facebook friends who have kids with autism, Jennifer
Ruschman ( suggested that I created an event that way
everyone could share it with their friends. So that’s what I did and it worked. I don’t know
how many people emailed Graceland, I think it was around 200, but I am not sure. Facebook
has a very strong autism community, the support is unbelievable. Visit my blog Wild World of
Autism ( and check out favorite blogs tab for a complete
list. I would like to thank Graceland for participating in the Light it up Blue campaign, Elvis has
fans worldwide so think of how many people this will reach. It means so much to the autism
community in Memphis and around the world!!!

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.