In 2007, the United Nations declared April 2nd of each year as World Autism Awareness Day. A few years later, in honor of the day a global autism awareness initiative was born called Light It Up Blue. On that day people all over the world shine a light on autism by going blue!
My personal connection with this day started over 20 years ago when I was diagnosed with autism. I dealt with countless obstacles and wish growing up I had a Light It Up Blue campaign to start a pivotal conversation on how to help all the lives of those with autism in our community.
Now today I can say I’ve overcame many of my obstacles and have become a professional speaker, best-selling author, and someone who participates each year in the Light It Up Blue campaign. It’s been a dream scenario in many ways.
In honor of the day, here are 10 reasons you should go blue on World Autism Awareness Day…
- Over 70 million individuals have autism worldwide and counting. This year in all our materials we are making it our mission to tell people that we are dedicating this campaign to helping them as much as we can.
- To help us encourage our legislators to get autism reform in all 50 states. By lighting it up blue, we can share with our public officials more on autism and by doing so, hopefully leading to more of a push to help our community.
- To support autism research. We want to help find what causes autism to help individuals with autism progress.
- To meet new people from our community! No matter who you know, you will probably find one or two people who will either be wearing blue, posting on their social media about blue or lighting their house blue. When you do this, you open yourself up to engaging with our community in a unique way!
- The blue lights look amazing! There are so many buildings that went blue last year. Some of the most iconic landmarks in the world have gone blue and it’s a beautiful sight every year. Even when you go to buy your Phillips light bulb, and use it at your house it looks just as cool!
- It’s fun to do! Autism Speaks has came out with a Light It Up Blue selfie sign where people can tell us where around the world they will be going blue!
- To show those in our autism community that they’re not alone. Many a times when I consult for parents with loved ones on the spectrum they can often feel that they are alone or not a part of a community. With Light It Up Blue, even if you’re not personally affected in anyway you can show your support and that there is a light for these individuals to look too.
- For people like me. I wish more than anything that Light It Up Blue existed when I was diagnosed with autism at 4. Now, when I see people go blue I see that there’s so much awareness be pushed out there to not only help myself but people like my mentees and friends who know or are personally affected by autism.
- 500,000 individuals with autism will reach adulthood within the next decade. When we Light It Up Blue we have the opportunity to share with our community that autism is a lifelong disorder and that our kids are growing up before our eyes.
- To start a conversation. At the end of the day more than anything what we hope Light It Up Blue will give us the opportunity to educate the world on autism and help better our community.
Why will you light it up blue and wear blue this year? Don’t forget to pledge to light it up blue at www.autismspeaks.org/liub
Kerry Magro, a professional speaker and best-selling author who is also on the autism spectrum started the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference in 2011 to help students with autism receive scholarship aid to pursue a post-secondary education.
Have Kerry, one of the only professionally accredited speakers on the spectrum in the country, speak at your next event by sending him an inquiry here. If you have a referral for someone who many want him to speak please reach out as well! Kerry speaks with schools, businesses, government agencies, colleges, nonprofit organizations, parent groups and other special events on topics ranging from employment, how to succeed in college with a learning disability, internal communication, living with autism, bullying prevention, social media best practices, innovation, presentation best practices and much more!