International Autism Awareness Day, April 2, 2012

Light It Up Blue on April 2

April is National Autism Awareness Month, which will be kicked off today, Monday, April 2, with an International Autism Awareness Day.  Join  Autism Speaks in the third annual “Light It Up Blue” day to help shine a light on autism.  The entire world is going blue to increase awareness about autism.  You can help by changing the light bulb in your front porch light to blue, turning your website blue, reviewing a children’s book on autism, or watching a library copy of the award-winning HBO movie “Temple Grandin,” and learning more about the autism spectrum.

According to a report released March 29 by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the estimated number of U.S. autistic kids have skyrocketed by 78 percent since 2000.  Now, one in 88 American kids has autism, according to the new figures.  Among boys, it’s one in 54.  The big question is “why?”   One expert said, “better diagnosis, broader diagnosis, better awareness, and roughly 50 percent of ‘We don’t know’.”   Another advocate said, “we have an epidemic of autism in the United States.” 

This is a unique global opportunity to help raise awareness about the growing public health concern that is autism.  Iconic landmarks around the world will Light It Up Blue to show their support today.   Among the 2,000 buildings going blue last year were the: NY Stock Exchange, Empire State Building, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, Niagara Falls, Al Anoud Tower in Saudi Arabia,  Cairo Tower in Egypt, Great Buddha at Hyogo in Japan, CN Tower in Canada and Sydney Opera House in Australia.

The month will be filled with activities for families and friends, so make sure you check out Autsim Speaks.  Their website has a wealth of information, tool kits for newly diagnosed children, facts, treatment information, research and resources on the Autism Spectrum.  I will be reviewing some new books on autism in April and all year-long.  I hope you will join me!   Light it up Blue today!  

Since April 2011, I have reviewed 13 books in the Autism Spectrum.  You can click on Autism Spectrum and Asperger’s Syndrome in  the “Topics” side bar to the right of my blog to find all the reviewed books.  The titles include Picture Books (PB), Middle Grade (MG), Young Adult (YA) and books for Parents.  Titles include:

I Am in Here: The Journey of a Child with Autism, Elizabeth M. Bonker and Virgina Breen (YA/Adult)
How to Talk to an Autistic Kid, Daniel Stefanski (MG)
Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism and Love from His Extraordinary Son, Tom Fields-Meyer (Parent)
I’m Here, Peter Reynolds (PB)
Mocking Bird, Katherine Erskine (MG)
Wild Orchid, Beverley Brenna (YA)
Waiting for No One , Beverley Brenna (YA) (second book in a trilogy)
Rules, Cynthia Lord (MG)
A Friend Like Henry, Nuala Gardner (Parent)
Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes, Jennifer Elder (MG)
Marcelo in the Real World, Francisco X. Stork  (YA)
Not My Boy, Rodney Peete (Parent)
My Brother Charlie, Holly and Ryan Elizabeth Peete, (PB)


About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

35 thoughts on “International Autism Awareness Day, April 2, 2012

  1. It is good to see how many books you have found on autism and Aspergers over the past twelve months. It is a subject more addressed than many of these topics, in children’s literature. Thanks for tipping me off last week about the blue!


    • Joanna, thanks for turning your site blue today. Yes, I was surprised at how many books I’d reviewed, and I noticed most were MG and YA. Only two PB. There are many more new ones to be reviewed this month.


  2. Thank you Pat, for reviewing so many great books and resources focused on autism.

    Forgive me, I have to get on my soapbox for one moment to share a quote from CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta who truly stuck out his neck this week publicly regarding the autism epidemic:

    “But even if you account for all of that (i.e. greater awareness and detection), the numbers still seem to have increased. People always say that it’s a combination of our genes and the environment. But I will put this forth: our genes don’t change that fast. They wouldn’t account for a 78% increase over 10 years. It takes hundreds of years for our genes to change.

    It’s very important to support those already diagnosed, and it is CRITICAL to research and reverse this alarming trend. Can you imagine the uproar if cancer rates increased by 78% over 10 years?

    Thank you, I’m now off my soapbox! Happy World Autism Awareness Day!


    • Cathy, be my guest. The soapbox is yours. I missed his comment on CNN, so I’m happy you shared it because the increase is incredible since 2000. I know there is much more playing into it. Makes you wonder what else is contributing. I agree, that’s why research is critical to reversing the alarming trend. I hope others read your comments.


    • Beth, thanks for supporting the day. I just wanted to do a launch today to make people aware this month is National Autism Awareness Month. Was surprised how books I reviewed last year. Ironically most were MG and YA, with only two PB. TJ Shay posted this on Twitter. And, thank you for posting something on FB. Want the word out.


  3. Great post, Patricia. It is great to be made aware of all those beautiful books. We have posted on our FB pages and hope to be a small link in the chain of awareness about this very important subject.


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    • Beverley, thank you. Such an important cause! I was surprised at how many books I reviewed on autism last year. I particularly enjoyed your books about Taylor, because they are among the few books showing a teen graduating and making the transition to adulthood. I am patiently waiting for your book #3 “White Bicycle” to come out! Really enjoyed your latest book, “Falling for Henry.” A great book to get lost in. – Pat


  7. This is so cool! I watched this on the news and I love that they are bringing more awareness to autism. They have some remarkable things that they can do, but there is still so much more they need. What a wonderful cause and an amazing bunch of people.


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