This guest post is by Autism Speaks staffer Kerry Magro, a motivational speaker and best-selling author who’s on the autism spectrum. You can learn more about Kerry on Facebook and Twitter. This blog originally appeared here.
To everyone who will Light It Up Blue,
Wherever you are on April 2nd, you can make a huge difference for our community…
How? By turning the world BLUE!
Light your homes BLUE!
Light your buildings where you work BLUE!
Be all the BLUE you can be!
For me going BLUE for autism is a cause close to my heart. When I was four I was diagnosed with autism. Growing up I wish there was an initiative like Light It Up BLUE to start a conversation with me.
To back track a bit for those reading this who don’t know, in 2007 the United Nations proclaimed April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day.
Two years later the Light It Up BLUE Campaign was born and even more awareness became possible in our communities. Now every year I wear my BLUE t-shirt on April 2, take a selfie pledging to go BLUE, and finally go to Home Depot or my local hardware store to purchase a BLUE light bulb so my house can go BLUE.
To me going BLUE is essential this year. Today autism is the fastest growing developmental disability out there. The number of individuals being diagnosed with autism when I was a kid was 1 in every 1000; today those numbers have increased over 100%. Every day our lives are touched by autism, whether it is in your immediate family, a friend, or maybe an acquaintance who you converse with over coffee every morning at work.
That’s why I’m thankful for people like you who go BLUE and, most of the time, stay BLUE throughout the entire month of April, Autism Awareness Month. I hope when you read this letter you know that you are making a difference by being involved with this important cause.
BLUE is so much more than just a color now to us. BLUE is a movement to help make people aware and more understanding of those with autism. For that I will be forever grateful for all of you who decide to get involved. With your continued support, we will make autism heard around the world, not only in April but all year out.
So in closing I hope you will make the below your mantra and encourage others to do the same. Keep telling yourself that…
“I will wear BLUE on April 2nd”
“I will light it up BLUE on April 2nd”
“I will help shine a light on the over 70 million individuals worldwide who have autism.”
“I will show people that autism is different and not less.”
“I will make a difference.”