empire state building lit up blue for autism awarenessApril is Autism Awareness Month and today, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day! This year actually marks the third annual Light It Up Blue campaign to raise awareness of autism spectrum disorders that affect an estimated 1 in 88 children, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network. Already 2,000 of the most iconic landmarks in the world -- from the Empire State Building in NYC to Niagra Falls, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and the International Space Station -- are preparing to shine a special blue light in support of the global initiative. 

But you don't have to have control over the hue glowing at the top of a skyscraper to show your support. There are plenty of ways anyone can "go blue," too.

    1. Light up your home. Autism Speaks is encouraging families to light their homes with specially marked blue light bulbs and LED lanterns (which are being sold exclusively at Home Depots all over the country).
    2. Wear blue. Any bright blue shirt, dress, or even blue jeans will do today. But if you forgot and you're already out and about, you could ...
    3. Change your Facebook profile picture to something "blue." A pic of you in a blue shirt, or just use one of these pre-set "Light It Up Blue" logos as your cover or profile pic. For extra impact, tag 10 of your friends in the photo.
    4. Write a blue status update on Facebook. You can update your Facebook status to read, "Light it up blue to shine a light on autism."
    5. Tweet in blue. Meaning ... you could tweet facts about autism and use the hashtag "#lightitupblue."
    6. Wear a pin. Sporting an Autism Speaks puzzle piece pins is a simple but powerful way to show your support.
    7. Get a blue afternoon treat. You could contact your local bakery to see if they could frost their donuts with blue icing and donating a portion of the proceeds from the baked goods to Autism Speaks.
    8. Have a "blue" happy hour. This evening, go out for or serve blue drinks and apps. Think blue punch, blueberries, blue margarita. Mmmm!

Here's more info in Light It Up Blue's official introduction video ...

How do you plan to go blue for World Autism Awareness Day/Autism Awareness Month?



Image via AutismSpeaksVids/YouTube