Why Blue

One of my dreams and hopes is one day Cody Rivers will become a National Speaker and be able to share his journey.  One of the reasons I write this blog is to give him the knowledge of what our journey looked like for others to learn from one day.  Writing is one my coping tools.  Another coping tool for me is to advocate and share my journey so I can continue to raise awareness and acceptance.


Last year, I decided to support Autism Speaks, Light it Up Blue campaign by sharing facts through social media and raising awareness.  I received so many emails and phone calls giving people the opportunity to ask me more about Autism.  Some people had suspension of their own children and were not sure what the next steps were and I was able to guide them to available resources.  What I never dreamed of is how many people came forward to help support and also raise awareness in honor of Cody Rivers. Each day I would use the #LIUB and tweet a fact about autism.

Did you know …

  • Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys
  • Autism prevalence figures are growing
  • Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the U.S.
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
  • Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism


Leading up to April 2nd, friends and family started posting photos of their blue lights, blue clothes, donations made, signs they made, etc. My Camden family at work all wore blue!  I even had friends say, “why do we have to raise awareness for just one month? Why can’t we leave out lights shining for Cody?” A few friends kept their lights shining until Cody started speaking!  Last night at dinner Cameron said he has a Language Arts project for school and he chose Autism as the debate topic.  What a perfect audience to discuss autism with?  Especially when 1 in 42 boys are affected with Autism and the chances of one of those teenagers in his class is probably pretty good!  So proud of him.

People all around the world raised awareness for the 70 million people living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism Speaks even posted iconic landmarks, hotels, sporting venues, concert halls, museums, schools and retail stores blue on April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day!

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So, why Blue?  We’re just 39 days away from Light It Up Blue 2016  and I am hoping to Light It Up Blue even bigger!  My challenge too all my readers, is share 2 facts about Autism to a stranger.   


Published by mamalamaneustupa

Bio My name is Shelley Neustupa. I am a mother of two cool boys and a wife of 22 years to my high school sweetheart. My oldest son attends the University of Oklahoma. Boomer! My youngest is in 2nd grade and was diagnosed with Autism and Mixed Receptive Expressive Disorder at age 2. Since his diagnosis, I promised him I would advocate and educate as hard as he works each day in therapy. I began writing and have been able to touch many parents that may be new to this journey providing them with actual experiences (not candy coated), support and resources through my entries. Writing is my therapy and my hope one day that my nonverbal son will be able to take these diaries and speak about his own journey and how autism relates to his own experiences. Who knows he and his older brother may become National Speaker’s one day? Come along on our journey to better understand our lives through the eyes of a boy with autism, his Skilled Companion dog Jude, his big brother (and best friend) and mom and dad. My raw vulnerability captures the everyday moments of our journey and will bring even more awareness. A week does not go by where we do not learn something new about ourselves and I want to share these chapters with you. My Sons Undeniable Strengths… Extremely smart and figures out things quickly. Has a memory that allows him to remember more things than I could ever hope for. Persuasive by his personality and sheepish looks. Overabundance of stamina and strength. Loves the outdoors. Enjoys life and always has fun with an unforgettable smile. You can find us here: Writer: Autism Through His Eyes Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Canine Companions for Independence News Interview Cody and Skilled Companion Jude - Our Story

2 thoughts on “Why Blue

  1. Hi there, it looks like you are a really awesome advocate for your son. I’m an autistic adult (a woman, we are in-fact under-diagnosed because our autism often manifests differently as most of the research was done on boys- hence why the color blue is used.) Since April is coming up again, I thought it would be important to tell you that though AutismSpeaks is one of the most well-known autism charities, they are not as supportive of people with autism as many parents believe them to be. They spend most of their money on research into the causes/prevention of autism, not on helping existing people with autism. While most other disability organizations have people with those disabilities on their boards, AutismSpeaks does not, and they also routinely use very dehumanizing language to describe people with autism. https://boycottautismspeaks.wordpress.com/ Instead I would ask you to support ASAN- the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, the Autism Society (they aren’t perfect, but better than Measles Speaks)


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