The “Light It Up Blue” campaign is run by the Autism Speaks organization. Every year everyone around the globe is invited to put blue lights on the homes and places of businesses to show support for autism awareness. Many global landmarks participate and “light it up blue”.
There is, however, a problem. There is a controversy, per se, surrounding the Autism Speaks organization. Some of the autism community seems divided about whether the organization represents and raises awareness for, or only exploits, those with autism. I don’t really follow this controversy much. I know they raise awareness to people who have autism, and the families affected by it. They hold nation-wide walk events that raise money and awareness. And any time research is conducted, it makes us one step further to an answer. It also helps us, for when we are in situations like a meltdown at the store, people don’t look at us as much as if we were making flimsy excuses when we say our child has autism. And they actually might know a tidbit or two about what it was.
That being said, even though the Light It Up Blue campaign was started by Autism Speaks, despite whatever you feel about that organization, I feel we still should “Light It Up Blue”. For me, and many I know, those blue lights don’t just make us misty eyed because of how much awareness is brought to autism research and all the other “awareness” terms you hear floating around, because when we see the towns, cities, states, and countries lit up in blue lights we tear up knowing that the world cares. And when I see my neighborhood lit up and the communities I am in “going blue”, I see support, solidarity, strength, and hope.
It is a lonely, scary, heartbreaking road we travel when we have someone we love affected by autism.
Autism is torture to those who have it and agonizing to those who love them.
In the midst of the pain, frustration, hopelessness and helplessness, are moments of joy, gratitude, accomplishment, and strength. It is said “No man is an island.” To do more than survive (and sometimes that’s impossible) we need strength, acceptance, hope, and love from others to be able to thrive. And for me, to see those lights; I feel it and treasure it.
So please, “Light It Up Blue” for those of us who need to know we are not alone. I’m not sure if photos can be made in the comments below, but if you do light it up blue take a picture and share it below or go to my Facebook page The Stay at Home Soprano and post them there, like it while you’re there if you want:), and don’t forget to #lightitupblue.
And from those of you who are with us and supporting us on this journey…I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
As always, positive comments are welcome. Negative hurtful comments will be trashed before I can even finish reading them. I have many readers who are emotionally vulnerable, and I will not post comments that will further harm.
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