Friday, April 2, 2010

Blue


Today I'm wearing blue for Autism Awareness Day. According to www.autismspeaks.org, 67 million people worldwide are affected by autism. For more information about autism, and for early signs of autism, click here.


Photo: Willis Tower on Light It Up Blue for autism awareness

Like I've said before, my younger sister has a rare genetic neurological disorder called Angelman's Syndrome, which means that she essentially functions at the age of a two or three year old, and cannot communicate with us in the usual fashion. While Angelman's Syndrome is not a subtype of autism, it shares many of the same characteristics, and often children with Angelman's are also diagnosed with autism.

When I was growing up, my mom enrolled my sister in the same public school that my brother and I went to, so that our friends and the rest of the community would know our sister, be aware of her disorder and treat her like they would treat any other person. This was an important aspect of my childhood, because when my friends would come to play they would always greet my sister (even though it was rare for her to return the greeting) and they never stared or acted funny around her like kids can so often do. Simply put, because of my sister's involvement in our community, she was always accepted and welcomed, which was a blessing for our whole family.

Are you wearing blue today?

L. Stacks

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