World Autism Awareness Day | How to Support the Cause 💙

April is National Autism Awareness Month, Every April 2, also dubbed World Autism Awareness Day, is for autism organizations around the world, as well as people with autism and their supporters to come together in the stride of giving people with autism, also known as Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), an opportunity to reach their entire potential in political, economic and social platforms.

Considering that about 1 in 54 people under the age of 21 are diagnosed with autism every year in the United States (at least, according to various online sources) it’s very easy to say that autism is very common. The amount of diagnoses seem to have risen every decade. As a result, many people, including myself, have 1 or more family member(s) or friend(s) that has autism.

Because autism affects many children (and people, in general) around the world, it’s important that we do our best to support people with autism and their stride to make a difference in the communities. But, how exactly do we become aware, understand, accept, and support the cause for equality? That is where I come in.

Disclaimer~Let me say that I cannot speak from the point of view of a person in the autism spectrum. Every person, with or without autism, is different, so if you are in the spectrum, an advocate, or simply someone wanting to learn more about the subject, feel free to add any feedback in the comments to add onto to what I say and/or express your thoughts on other ways to support autism acceptance. Thanks! ♡

Back to my main subject: here are a few ways to support the cause! Enjoy!

1.) Address a Person with Autism with Respect — Most of the time, it is generally standard to refer to someone who has autism as a “person with autism” rather than an “autistic person,” if a situation where you are introducing them comes into play. While the two phrases may seem like the same thing to some, putting the word “person” before the word “autism” is acknowledging the person or people as individuals and human beings before the fact that they are in the autistic spectrum. However, you may want to ask the person with autism what they prefer to be referred to, and go based on that, as the answer can vary depending on the individual.

2.) Befriend or Spend Time with a Person in the Autism Spectrum — Try spending time with a person who has autism. Sometimes, it takes hands-on experience of being with a person to be able to understand them and how they think on another level. Showing support towards someone who is affected by autism can be a great way to spread awareness to your community and be an advocate towards the cause of celebrating differences.

3.) Educate Yourself — It can be a little tough to support a cause when you aren’t even completely aware of what autism is, how it affects people, and what you can do to help. All it takes is a little internet research to set you in motion to being a better example and advocate in your community.

4.) Donate to Charitable (and Reliable) Autism Organizations — This one may be a little obvious, but its always a great idea to support a good cause of any kind by donating to organizations that pour back into their communities. If you’d like to find some autism organizations, click HERE to view a list.

5.) Wear Blue — Blue is the “official” color to celebrate autism awareness and spreading the word in our communities. Therefore, another nice way to show your support is wearing the color blue throughout April. You can even post a selfie of yourself wearing blue and include the tag #LightitUpBlue to put a stamp on the statement that you will be making through the color.

Thank you all so much for reading some tips for how to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day as well as Autism Awareness Month. This post was really rewarding to write~it makes me happy to use my love for writing to spread awareness of messages of equality and unity.

Autism is not a disability in any shape or form. It is just another beautiful way to see the world.

Have a beautiful and blessed day, everybody! 💙

Believe and you can achieve !

Hey, y’all! Happy Tuesday.

So, if you checked out my Valentine’s Day post discussing how we (me and Goodmommy) went shopping, you know that I bought a cute white shirt with the word “SHINE” and small silver beads elegantly placed on the front. I explained how we bought it specifically for a special occasion and that I would share what the special occasion is with you all today. And guess what. I came through with my word, y’all.

I was chosen to attend a Middle School Student Forum to represent my school!!! Just before I went to bed, I was jumping up and down inside with excitement. To have my straight A’s pay off, now allowing me to use my voice to make a positive impact on my community is truly a blessing.

We took a few pictures before we left. It was close to 9 AM, so we didn’t want to wait too long to get there. Though, all the pictures turned out adorable. This one is one of my favorites. Goodmommy is such an amazing support in all of this. My assistant principal gave me a document of some of the sample questions that the board members might ask. Just before bed time, we practiced roleplaying the introductions and sample questions. It’s always a good idea to be prepared. Also, thanks for your help, Goodmommy. :))

It only took us about 25 minutes to get to the building, and believe it or not, I was the first student to get there. To be honest, I was a little shocked. I’ve always been an early bird, though, so it was nice to be able to take a look around at the large auditorium and take some photos as momentoes of this wonderful memory.

The set up of the whole entire room was super organized and well-planned (to my liking.) They even gave each student an assigned table and seat based on our district. We also had a small notebook and pens for notetaking, as well as little tins of mints if we wanted a little snack. I really appreciated how friendly everyone was. They made me feel super welcome and comfortable.

My assistant principal also gave me a printed copy of the sample questions, so I was able to write in my notebook some of my answers regarding the criteria.

And here’s my assistant principal, himself. It was super nice to meet him in-person for the first time! He was nice enough to come over and greet us with a warm welcome as soon as he saw us.

After close to an hour of introducing myself to a couple of my table mates, taking notes, and drinking my Gatorade, it was soon time for the discussions to start. I enjoyed having a conversation with the board member of my district and some other students who attend a variety of public schools in my community.

Being able to hear and give feedback from those familiar with the academic and educational industry as well as hear from other students’ perspectives was really eye opening. I found it informative to learn about what kids my age may experience while attending in-person schooling, as well as how that correlates to my virtual public schooling.

We (including students in all 6 groups) were able to discuss topics like mental health, bathroom issues, peer pressure, connectivity with each other and our teachers and the list goes on. The fact that they are allowing middle and high schoolers to share our input on what we appreciate and would change about our school programs was a wonderful idea that I’m happy was put in place.

It also gave us a chance to get used to having healthy discussions and learning how to speak confidently in front of an audience. Not only giving our input, but being able to listen to the opinions and feedback of others in a respectful way. I found it such a great method for giving back to my community.

Of course, to celebrate this beautiful occasion, some of our parents (including Goodmommy) came over to take a photo of the board member, me and the other students at my table. I appreciate the amazing photography to make this memory last.

All in all, I thank God and all the staff and administrators for the wonderful honor of choosing me to be a representative of my school, the students in my school, and everyone in my community.

It truly was a wonderful experience that I will never forget and always cherish. And it has showed me that when you are committed and believe in what God has for your life you can achieve anything that you put your mind to.