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!
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.