World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) was established in 2007 by the United Nations General Assembly to “help shine a light on Autism.”
‘Light it up Blue’ is an initiative on that day by the Autism Speaks organization to light up the world with the often-overlooked effects of Autism.
“Light It Up Blue, in its third year, is a unique global initiative by Autism Speaks to help raise awareness about the growing public health concern that is autism,” according to lightitupblue.org.
The website is a part of the Autism Speaks organization where participants can pledge to light it up blue on April 2.
“Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $173 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. The organization is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families,” according to lightitupblue.org.
For one family the Autism Speaks organization has been a useful resource to help with understanding and living with the condition.
“My son is autistic and we have had our ups and downs, but Autism Speaks has [given me] the tools I need to help him and our family deal with his condition,” said Jason Marshal.
In the Autism Speaks Mission Statement, it is firmly expressed that the call is to bring awareness to the nation and to the world.
“Autism Speaks aims to bring the autism community together as one strong voice to urge the government and private sector to listen to our concerns and take action to address this urgent global health crisis,” said the mission statement. “It is our firm belief that, working together, we will find the missing pieces of the puzzle.”
The organization was started in 2005, by grandparents who were struggling to raise an Autistic child.
Its message is short, but clear: “Autism Speaks. It’s time to listen.”