AUTISM AWARENESS DAY!
Today marks the 6th annual autism awareness day. Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events such as Light it up Blue - Many iconic landmarks, hotels, sporting venues, concert halls, museums, bridges and retail stores are among the hundreds of thousands of homes and communities that take part by installing a blue lightbulb or a special filter to buildings existing lights to portray the blue effect. It's a beautiful way to show support.
While I didn't participate this year with any fundraising, I did wear blue today in support of this very special day. I also did a little shopping....for the month of April, Stella & Dot jewellery is donating 20% of total sales from their Autism Awareness Collection to the HollyRod Foundation with a guaranteed minimum of $10,000. To the left is a picture of the lovely bracelet that I purchased - It's called the spirit bracelet.
New research shows the rate of children being diagnosed with autism continues to steadily rise and that autism is now considered almost twice as common as it was believed to be only ten years ago. A recent report stated that one in 88 children has autism or a related disorder, compared with one in 155 in 2002. A shocking report from the US this week reports that in actuality, one in 50 children have an autism spectrum disorder.
About 10 years ago, an adorable little boy with brown hair and dark brown eyes was enrolled in my daycare class. This little boy, Kyle, was an absolute joy - he made me smile every day - Kyle had autism. I enjoyed every minute working with Kyle. Seeing him learn new things was the most rewarding part of working at that daycare. A few years ago, I reconnected with his mom via facebook. It was so great to hear how he was doing - seeing pictures, he has grown into a handsome young man, amazing his family every day....If I'm remembering correctly, he will be 13 at the end of this month. I think of him often and cherish the year that I was able to be his teacher. I learned a lot from my little buddy, Kyle. (update: I am shocked to hear my little friend is actually going to be 14 this month. Oh my gosh, where has the time gone?)
There are still so many unanswered questions about autism...and sadly there is very little known about the causes. There are thousands of families across the autism spectrum that can use help. So, please show your support and bring awareness to autism and it's foundations.