Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Autism it's not just Blue

     Every year in April autism speaks asks you to "light it up blue," for "autism awareness"  and while all the major cities,towns and people who have a loved one with autism or wish to show support for autism are putting out blue lights to show support and spread awareness for autism. 

I will NOT be lighting it up blue! 

    Instead  A few friends and I are hanging up Christmas lights! 

    "......Wait.....what? Well why are you hanging Christmas lights? Are they blue Christmas lights?"

     Nope they have many different colors, we hang the multi colored Christmas lights. Sure there are some blue lights, but also green, yellow, pink maybe some purple.

    "Why are you hanging them why not just blue? Your autistic shouldn't you be eager to light it up blue and spread awareness for autism?"

        Eager to light it up blue NO! spread awareness for autism well yes...but MORE importantly to spread ACCEPTANCE and UNDERSTANDING!!! And that's why I hang the Christmas lights instead!

       When it comes to the light it up blue event,I used to really like it, I thought it was nice because to me  in one way it was nice, nice to see this massive out pouring of support from all the people in the local towns to the major cities and countries all around the world! We used to enjoy riding around to see how many blue lights we can see in the neighborhood.  Or local cities! 
        However  now it is something else, while I still appreciate seeing the support from everyone it is also a very sad sight for me to see as well.

    "But how can it be sad?....oh you mean because of how many people are affected by autism?"

     No, it is sad to me because to me it is just one giant advertisement for autism speaks!!!!  Autism speaks's color is blue! Blue is NOT the "color of autism," it is the color of autism speaks. In fact autism doesn't have one specific color to represent it! the autism awareness ribbon created by the autism society of America is made up of multi colored puzzle pieces, and while there is much controversy over it I feel it is a far better representation for autism then the single blue puzzle piece, additional organizations like the Autism Self Advocacy network, while they don't use the awareness ribbon their symbol is made up of a spectrum and variety of colors! It is really quiet lovely

   when people see all these blue lights they will likely go and google why it is if they don't already know and  they go looking for why there are so many blue lights in April it will lead them to information about  autism and right to autism speaks. 

      I disagree with autism speaks for Many reasons, mostly due to how they allocate their budget, the fact they have zero autistic people in power, their refuses to listen to autistics and their use of fear and negativity to promote their "awareness," you can read  here  where I go into more detail on the issue.

        Another reason I don't like lighting it up blue is because blue is the color of the child abuse awareness ribbon!!!  Lighting it up blue should be to spread awareness of child abuse NOT autism!!!! Child abuse awareness month is also in April by the way!   The ironic thing is people used to believe autism was caused by child abuse, today we know very well this is NOT the case, but there is something about the child abuse awareness ribbon being blue and that false belief that make lighting it up blue feel very wrong to me, like I am promoting the idea of child abuse causing autism, which is extremely WRONG!!!

       April is autism awareness month but big organizations like autism speaks seem to make it all about them! It is their time to really get into everything, local tv news, talks shows, commercials and stores asking you for your money, your donations. Claiming to "help autistics and their families,"  when only 3-4 percent of the donations they get actually go back to the community!  Essentially taking money from more important places in the community such as arc or Easter seals who actually provide services, therapies and interventions for those living with autism!  Most of their awareness is based on garnering donations through the use of fear. Awareness is no good if it is done through fear!!!

        A few friends and family of mine have decided to say enough is enough! We are taking back April and autism awareness month!  We are making this April about autism and promoting acceptance, we are making it about the accepting autism, understanding autism, we are making it about autistic individuals, their families, friends, teachers and care givers!!  Not about organizations like autism speaks, April is for those of us living with autism We want more then Awareness we want Acceptance! We DONT want April to be about lining the pockets of autism speaks, or for it to be a giant add for an organization that dehumanizes autistics and has several times over the years shut out autistic voices and refused to listen to them, so let's spread acceptance for the entirety of the autism spectrum not just the severe or mild end! So we decided to do our own thing for April

So instead of lighting it up blue, we lights it up with Christmas lights!!!

Christmas light for acceptance of the entire spectrum!  

          Christmas lights to say "we are taking back April for those living with autism! We will not the spread the promotion of hate and fear by organization like autism speaks trying to get your money! We stand for acceptance support and understanding not fear! April is about those of us living with autism NOT about Autism Speaks!!!!

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