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Light IT Up Blue and spread awareness for World Autism Month

Written By | Apr 20, 2021
Autism, World Autism, -cc logo Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Greta Thunberg diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder

SAN DIEGO, April 20, 2021–Be amazed by Autism Spectrum Disorder and spread awareness this World Autism Month.

Serving persons with developmental disabilities through community-based work to help them maintain independence is a tremendous honor.

Never having been exposed to developmentally disabled persons due to school separation from general populations, serving them has become a wonderful learning experience and a special part of a long career journey.

World Autism Month

It is a pleasure to bring World Autism Month to the fore to help showcase both the challenges and opportunities of those with “neurodiversity”, a word made famous in the 1990’s by Judy Singer, an Australian sociologist.

Ms. Singer is reportedly herself on the autism spectrum

Neurodiversity, then, “is the concept that there are many different variations of human functionality…(with) every variation needs to be better understood and respected….Neurodiversity is an alternative approach to learning and disability that shifts the focus from treatment and cures to acceptance and accommodation.” From BigThink

“I think the concept of Neurodiversity has been world-changing, by giving us a new perspective on humanity, but needs to mature to the point where we see that human nature is complex, and nature is beautiful but not benign.”
-Judy Singer, Sociologist

According to the CDC, there are approximately 1.7% of persons worldwide are on the autism spectrum, which could equate to approximately between 75 million and 150 million.

In the US, the CDC estimates that 1 in 59 births are those who fall within the range of autism spectrum; and, approximately 3.5 million Americans currently live within it.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability of currently non-conclusive origin.

Moreover, it affects more boys than girls.
Screenshot of autistic man cleaning tables via YouTube Autism Speaks

Generally diagnosed prior to age three, early symptoms could be as simple as being non-responsive to their name, avoid eye contact, prefer being alone, prone to easy agitation, word repetition, upset by
minor changes and the like, according to Grant A Gift Foundation.

Growing up with ASD could be challenging in various forms of communication, interpersonal relationships, understanding human emotion, and might be uncomfortable being touched.

Everyday noises, sights, smells, and tastes could cause uneasiness and constitute, for one with ASD, unwanted changes–which could be perceived as undesirable and lead to aggression and temper tantrums, and even self-harm in some cases.

For one with ASD, it is completely an individual journey fueled by prevalent genes.

While talents and abilities highly vary, it would be limited thinking to believe that someone with ASD could not become productive by utilizing individual uniqueness and contribute to the world around them.

“Autism can’t define me. I define autism.”
-Kerry Magro

Surprisingly, perhaps, there are many well-known and accomplished individuals in a variety of professions who have ASD.

The following is a cross-section of famous people published by ONGIG The Magnet:

1. Woody Allen (rumored)
2. David Byrne (diagnosed)
3. Dan Aykroyd (diagnosed)
4. Charles Darwin (rumored)
5. Thomas Edison (rumored)
6. Albert Einstein (rumored)
7. Darryl Hannah (diagnosed
8. Alfred Hitchcock (rumored)
9. Courtney Love (diagnosed)
10. Lionel Messi (rumored)
11. Sir Isaac Newton (rumored)
12. Steve Jobs (rumored)
13. Jeffrey Seinfeld (self-diagnosed)

“My philosophy is: It’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me.I am what I am, and I do what I do. I expect nothing….”
-Sir Anthony Hopkins

A refreshing piece by Kerry Magro depicts his finding inspiration in books and quotes from Dr. Seuss.

Open about his being nonverbal because of ASD during early childhood development, he is now a full-time speaker and best-selling author and serves as an autism film consultant.

According to Kerry, he is proud to be a disability advocate and help lift up those with ASD reach their highest goals.

“Today you are you!
That is truer than true!
There is no one alive
who is you-er than you!
-Dr. Seuss

World-wide Autism Month is a particularly good time to Light It Up Blue and spread awareness and appreciation for individual differences and abilities.

Lighting It Up Blue could be as easy as purchasing a blue lightbulb to be on display, attending fundraisers, raising funds for special needs programs and rehabilitation, or simply getting the word out via social media.

It is heartening to read the names of those with ASD and recognize that their unique and individual neurodiversity has led to such greatness, making the world a better place through their talent and innovation!

How could any of us look at the color blue in the same light again!

Kerry Magro may say it best:

“I’ve always said autism can’t define me but I define autism. I hope all of our families can see their kids move up their collective mountains towards their goals and be able to accomplish their dreams.”

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

(Main image:
Greta Thunberg diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder )

Laurie Edwards-Tate

Since 1984, Laurie Edwards-Tate has served as President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare, a non-medical Home Care Aide Organization, serving seniors, disabled, infirm and children. Laurie is Board of Director 2018 (elected), Palomar Health; Executive Board Member; Chair Board Human Resources Committee; Member of Audits & Compliance Committee; Community Relations Committee.