Today marks the beginning of Autism Awareness Month. With 1 in 88 children being diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, awareness is huge.
Tomorrow, of course, is the big day; tomorrow is Light It Up Blue Day. And while I am a big fan of World Autism Awareness Day, we also cannot let autism awareness slip from our minds after tomorrow. If you have pledged to Light It Up Blue tomorrow, will you pledge to do so all month?
I was checking my Twitter feed this morning, and I came across a re-tweet from Red Sox writer Gordon Edes, and his pledge to support raising awareness. He is on board with “Business of Sports Network Autism Challenge” again this year (this link is from last year’s challenge). It is amazing to me that so many people with such a public platform and a large following dedicate their efforts toward raising awareness.
If you happen to be a NASCAR fan, plan on cheering for Jamie McMurray, who has a family member with autism, or Hermie Sadler, who has a daughter with autism, in today’s race. You cannot help but to stumble upon someone in the sports world that is directly affected by autism, and who acts as a tremendous spokesperson.
An autism diagnosis is no joke, but it is not the end of the world either. By raising awareness, we are helping people better understand individuals on the spectrum, and hopefully opening doors to better and more effective therapies.