Monday, April 2, 2018

Why I Light It Up Blue Today





Why I Light It Up Blue Today


We all think that we have the most perfect children. I am no exception. My two boys are wonderful, sweet, caring, loving, rambunctious, energetic balls of excitements. In some ways they are so similar, but in others they are worlds apart. You see my youngest baby is on the Spectrum. We are not alone. Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. Autism prevalence figures are growing. So if your family is not personally touched by Autism, I am almost certain a close friend is. April 2, 2018 is World Autism Awareness Day. Joined by the international community, hundreds of thousands of landmarks, buildings, homes and communities around the world, light up blue in recognition of people living with autism. Even more wear blue in support!

Joel's Story


Most people at first glance would never believe my Joel has Autism. He is very high functioning. He gets high marks on test scores, loves being the center of attention and makes everyone in the room light up with laughs. But behind that adorable face lies his daily struggles. A mind constantly racing, a body constantly moving and a soul that appears constantly uneasy.

Joel’s struggles are focused mainly with sensory processing, self-regulation and adapting to change. He needs more stimulus than most. He excessively seeks out touch. Touch is his way of finding his place and balance in the world.

We are lucky in many ways. He “gets” that he is different. Many times when asked why he is not participating in an activity or wanting to try something new, he’ll say “you know I not that kind of kid.” Knowing you are different and understanding why are two different things. And in all actuality, how can I expect him to understand, when in truth, do I or anybody else really understand? Rather, we stress how being different is a good thing. Your uniqueness can make you great! There are things that only you can do and these things will make the world a better place. Only you can do it!

Still he’s eight and struggles on a daily-basis to “fit in”. Wanting to be one of the pack but not quite sure how to break into the group. I always say Joel is everyone’s friend but nobody’s best friend. He has figured out how to make connections, but not how to keep and grow them. This is my hope for him. This is what we work on. This is what I strive for. We make lots of little connections looking for that big one. And every once in a while, I see a twinkle in his eye. He meets someone and says he’s like me. And I know exactly what he means. For while he is different in many ways, he really is the same. He is just a kid in this big world in search of a little tribe to call home.

Joel sees this world in a different way. He sees black and white so many places that the rest of us see so many shades of gray. Yet if you delve a little deeper, you would see an imagination filled with more colors than the rainbow. His mind bursting with an abundance of energy wanting to break free and be shared with this world. A world that in many ways is way to big for him to understand yet way too small to contain him. So, I like every mother, I encourage my Joel, my perfect Joel, rather than be contained within the restraints of this world, to keep reaching for those stars above and beyond. Because yes you are different. But your difference is your greatest asset and it will change the world! You have already changed mine.

How You Can Help Support Autism Awareness and Light It Up Blue


I encourage you to show your true color today and wear something blue is support of Autism Awareness. All of April is World Autism Month filled with Autism-friendly events and educational activities to increase understanding and acceptance and foster worldwide support. I would also love for you to click and share our story on social media to help get the word out! Feel free to comment below and share your story to help spread the word about these wonderful people that light up our lives every day.


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9 comments :

  1. Love this. Thanks for spreading awareness!

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  2. I love this. My oldest boy is affected by SPD, also. We've learned a lot about the disorder and have come such a long way! He's learned how to mostly adapt and use his sensory issues (we call them "spidey senses") for the better. Keeping lighting up blue, momma!

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    1. I love the "spidey senses" idea! When my Joel gets overwhelmed we hug it out. I ask him how many hugs he needs and them we count it down. I think the combination of the touch and the focussing on counting down helps to calm him down. Usually we can avoid a meltdown now. It is amazing how creative we can get when we are trying to help our kids!

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  3. I loved this. My niece is autistic and she's one of the smartest little humans in the planet. It's okay to be different.

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    1. Yay! My thoughts exactly. Instead of pointing out everyone else's difference we should focus on celebrating and cultivating our own! How boring this world would be if we were all the same.

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  4. Beautiful! I have family members on the spectrum and my son has sensory processing disorder and we believe he too is on the spectrum. thank you for sharing awareness!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read our story! You truly know how special these kids are!

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  5. Thank you for sharing your journey. Looks like a sweet young man!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and reading our story!

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