World Autism Awareness Day, April 2

Light It Up Blue on April 2

April is National Autism Awareness Month, which will be kicked off today, Tuesday, April 2, with a World Autism Awareness Day.  Join  Autism Speaks in the fourth annual LIGHT IT UP BLUE campaign to  help shine a light on autism in commemoration of the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day.   There is a wealth of information on what you can do in your home, school, and community during April.  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 during April, turning your website blue, reviewing a children’s book on autism, or watching the award-winning HBO movie “Temple Grandin,” and learning more about the autism spectrum disorders.

According to a report 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 19 excellent 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’m Here, Peter H. Reynolds (PB)

Wings of Epoh,  Gerda Weissmann Klein (PB)

Understanding Sam and Asperger’s Syndrome, Clarabelle van Niekerk & Liezl Venter, MA, CCC-SLP

My Brother Charlie, Holly and Ryan Elizabeth Peete, (PB)

In Jesse’s Shoes, Beverly Lewis (PB)

Ellie Bean: The Drama Queen, Jennie Harding (PB)

The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders, by Elizabeth Verdick and Elizabeth Reeve, M.D. (MG/YA)

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)

Mocking Bird, Katherine Erskine (MG)

Rules, Cynthia Lord (MG)

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes, Jennifer Elder (MG)

Wild Orchid,  Waiting for No One , and White Bicycle, Beverley Brenna (YA) Trilogy

Temple Grandin:  How The Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World, Sy Montgomery, (MG/YA/Adult

I Am in Here: The Journey of a Child with Autism, Elizabeth M. Bonker and Virgina Breen (YA/Adult)

Marcelo in the Real World, Francisco X. Stork  (YA)

Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism, Arthur and Carly Fleischmann (YA/Adult)

Not My Boy, Rodney Peete (Parent)

A Friend Like Henry, Nuala Gardner (Parent)


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.

27 thoughts on “World Autism Awareness Day, April 2

  1. Thank you Pat. We’re hoping to move from Autism Awareness to Acceptance to Action as the numbers and needs continue to grow.


  2. Oh, my goodness … what a fantastic post! I am part of a 6-day blog hop for Autism Awareness and I am going to tell my readers about your page. Thanks SO much for being so comprehensive!


  3. The blogging you do for kids with special needs in general, and for kids dealing with autism and Asperger’s in particular, is stellar, Pat. Thank you for all you do, and thank you for this easy-to-access list of the books you have reviewed in the past. I look forward to your reviews in April (and beyond.)


  4. Today I’m thinking of a grandpa who spends every Thursday with his Autistic grandson, how much he loves that child, and I’m thinking of a mom and dad with an Autistic son, and how much they love him, and how much joy those children bring into the world. But, I’m also thinking that we’ve got a lot of work to do to support those who are somewhere on the spectrum AND to get a better understanding of the causes so that maybe we can do something to make a difference. Thanks Pat for lighting the web blue today!


  5. Thanks for turning the blogging world blue today. I shared this on my fb page and also on twitter. There is a big need to raise awareness and you sure are doing your part. I know you are passionate about it. 🙂


  6. I was referred to this blog by the folks at Reach and Teach (who I highly respect), and was excited to join. When I opened the blog though, as a person with a disability and a disability justice activist, I was sad to see such an unexamined endorsement for Autism Speaks. On the occasion of Autism Awareness month, I sincerely hope progressive-minded folks will also take the time to look up the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network and other groups like ASAN that are led by and for people with autism themselves (rather than by well-meaning parents and families who sometimes cause more hurt than harm in their efforts to “protect” their disabled family member). Please don’t just believe what you are told without questioning whether it is right or wrong… learn about the full spectrum of views in the disability movement, including those of people living with autism who have very valid critiques of Autism Speaks.


    • Sarah, thank you for your thoughtful comments and for including more resources to the conversation and a link to Autism Self-Advocacy Network. I was not familiar with ASAN before now. My goal is to review autism books for children, parents and teachers. Again, thank you for the additional information for my readers. – Patricia


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