“Light it up Blue.”  What does this mean? You may have seen people turn their Facebook images blue, some companies lit up their outside blue, or  maybe you didn’t see this in your area. April 2nd was Autism awareness day. April is Autism awareness month. To be aware is to have knowledge about a subject. Being ignorant can lead to foot-in-mouth experiences

I do not have a child with Autism.  I know many families, however, that do. I have a couple old posters my husband gave me from the old “Think Different” campaign Apple computers put out in the 90’s.  These black and white posters have portraits of various historical figures the the old rainbow Apple branding and “Think Different.” written in the corner.  The ones hanging in my office are Thomas Edison holding a light bulb and Amelia Earhart.  I could write an entire blog post on Amelia Earhart, but this is about thinking different…pushing the boundaries.

The Autism spectrum i a large grouping of diagnoses that also differ in “severity.” Many times these individuals are misunderstood and their potential is minimized. That my friends is ignorance.  The research and techniques for treating individuals on the spectrum are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were five years ago. The identification/diagnosis process has also improved and medical professionals are catching up and diagnosing sooner which leads to significantly improved outcomes.

There is not a “magic pill” for autism. Its a long ride for families with an autistic child, but not a bad ride.  Its different. In fact – I try my hardest never to think of anyone by their diagnosis, but by who THEY are as a person. What are THEIR strengths? As a manager I was taught to manage my staff’s strengths. By doing this amazing things happen.  Imagine a world if we all saw each others’ strengths and never focused on weaknesses. Imagine a world without labels. You can make a difference – Think Different and Light it up Blue.

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