April is Autism Awareness Month. You’ll likely see a lot of blue this April: blue pins, blue t-shirts, major buildings in urban areas bathed in blue light. And while you might find yourself tempted to dismiss “Light It Up Blue” as just another marketing campaign (which it is), please don’t. There’s something bigger going on here.
A recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children lie somewhere on the autism spectrum. This is not a “fad disorder.” It’s a real disorder that’s affecting more and more families, but that’s still misunderstood by many.
Part of the problem is the way we consume information today. We have national news outlets that don’t actually report news, and we rely more and more on our Facebook and Twitter feeds for information–a lot of which ends up being misinformation (I’m looking at you, Jenny McCarthy).
So while all of the blue t-shirts and blue buildings are pretty and poignant, it’s basic, accurate information that needs to lie at the center of Autism Awareness Month. I’ll thank my Boston.com colleague Chelsea Rice for compiling this piece on common myths around autism, and I’ll also point you in the direction of Autism Speaks’ “What Is Autism” primer. The pair might take you ten minutes to peruse; it’ll be ten minutes well spent.
Why a piece on autism awareness from a RadioBDC DJ? Because this RadioBDC DJ knows a few too many of the 1 in 68 to not speak up.
Thanks for reading.