As most of us know, April is autism awareness month. Many of us joined the "Light it Up Blue" campaign by Autism Speaks by wearing blue and/or turning on a blue light on April 2nd. Well, this year I decided I'd take it up another notch and I made a pledge to wear blue all 30 days of the month of April. Here are my 30 reasons why... not in any specific order, each just as important as the next:
1. Because my son is not missing any pieces. I'd rather wear the blue than a broken puzzle.
2. Because on most days it's just me & my boy for hours on end. Wearing blue
helped me feel connected to a bigger community. Each time I looked at the blue I knew I was not alone.
3. Because wearing blue for 30 days straight wasn't easy or fun! Then again, it
was nothing compared to how hard my boy has to work every single day of
4. Because I am proud of my son and I want the world to know it. Go ahead: ask me what's up with all the blue!
5. Because I wanted people to ask--I welcome every chance to educate people about the whole spectrum of autism.
6. Because it became contagious-- colleagues at work and family members joined in my cause and helped spread the word.
7. Because autism is not a bad word or something that should be hard or
unpleasant to talk about-- the more we talk, the easier it gets for
everyone, including my son.
8. Because ignorance creates fear. My son is NOT someone to be feared! The
better you understand ASD, the quicker you will realize that your life
is made better by having my son in it!
9. Because planning what to wear was quite challenging-- it made me think of the
many times my boy faces a task and doesn't even know where to begin!
Really, something as simple as picking out clothes should not be so
hard...neither should just talking to another child at school!
10. Because I ended up having to buy a few pieces-- I got to tell every cashier about autism-- more education!
11. Because autism awareness is not just a one day or one month thing-- we should
work hard each and every single day to educate people about autism so
our loved ones with ASD will find greater tolerance as they go through
12. Because my son is NOT Rain Man, nor does he have a special genius skill-- other than endless amounts of love!
13. Because I wondered what it would feel like to always wear the same color
every day-- would I find comfort and peace in sameness like my son? (no,
I did not)
14. Because I felt different from the people around me-- like my son
must feel so much of the time-- not LESS, just DIFFERENT... sometimes
15. Because so often I feel helpless when it comes to my son's difficulties at
school-- wearing blue helped me feel like I was doing something!
16. Because it gave me the opportunity to be pleasantly surprised by the people I
expected the least to join the cause by wearing blue, making donations
or turning on a blue light
17. Because even though I may have sounded like a broken record, I know everyone around
me now stops and thinks--and even shares--when they see a blue puzzle
18. Because my little guy is breaking all sorts of stereotypes and I want the world to know it!
19. Because early intervention works! The more people know, the sooner
kids' symptoms may be spotted and they can start getting the help they
20. Because blue does not equal sadness.
21. Because the blue reminded me to stop and pray for my son each day!
22. Because blue makes me feel peaceful.
23. Because blue makes me think of the ocean-- just for a few minutes each day my
blue clothes would remind me to close my eyes, take a deep breath and
picture myself in a blue sandy beach! Paradise!
24. Because it helped me make new friends by finding other moms out there to connect with!
25. Because I have earned the right to wear blue!
26. Because it seemed like fun to begin with!
27. Because it helped me understand my son's view of the world just a little bit better.
28. Because it was nice to focus on my appearance after not caring for so long.
29. Because on most days it made me feel pretty!
30. Because I love my son with the very essence of my being!
Will you join the cause?