I was the first to notice the signs. He hated loud noises. The repetitive movements and routines. Stimming.
When I took him to his 18-month-check up I told the pediatrician he needed to be evaluated. When she asked for what, I said ‘#autism.’ She reassured me he was fine but referred him for an evaluation. A month later he was in all sorts of therapies - language, occupational, music. When he was 3, he was diagnosed with autism.
There are a lot of folks in the #autism community who will tell you we don’t need anymore awareness. We need action. Advocacy. Inclusion. Indeed. But I can’t even begin to tell you how often I encounter people who have no idea what the autism red flags are. And since early intervention is key, it’s imperative to know the signs.
So yes, we light it up blue to bring awareness to autism. But tomorrow when people stop posting happy memes about autism awareness, we’ll still be fighting for our community. And the blue lights let you know we’re here.