Many people, especially those with friends or family with autism, wear blue on World Autism Awareness Day (April 2). It is a way to raise awareness and show support to those with autism. But did you know that there is some controversy about this?
The idea of wearing blue comes from Autism Speaks and their Light It Up Blue campaign. It all sounds like a very good idea. Except that the organization Autism Speaks is controversial when it comes to the autism community.
While parents and others may find Autism Speaks to be a helpful resource, there is actually a lot of anger from those with autism because of some of the statements and practices of that organization.
Some people see wearing blue on April 2 as a statement of support for Autism Speaks.
I happen to wear blue on World Autism Awareness Day even though I know about the concerns. While I don’t have the anger toward the organization that some have, I do not fully endorse them either.
I wear blue not to show my support for a specific organization but to help raise awareness for autism. There is still much work to be done and this is one tool. Wearing blue has become bigger than Autism Speaks and many people who wear blue have never heard of that organization. They wear blue because they love someone with autism.
I am not trying to dismiss concerns about Autism Speaks. Nor am I saying everyone must wear blue on April 2. I am only saying that our family chooses to do it without being pulled into the conflicts within the autism community.