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All images and posts written by and copyright to Amanda Clements (nee Gray) 2009-2012 unless otherwise indicated.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Amanda Asks: Autism Awareness

Instead of the usual Ask Amanda post, this month I am starting with an Amanda Asks column. And it is all due to the fact that April is Autism Awareness Month.

Autism Awareness Month

It all began with the Autism Society of America declaring that April would be Autism Awareness month. They have been pushing for Autism Awareness through April Awarenes month since the 1970s.

But this year is the first year that I have joined in the celebrations. This is primarily because up until this year I have been unaware that April is a good time to talk about Autism.

Amanda asks parents

I want to help build awareness by providing the opportunity for parents to tell their story - to celebrate their children who have Autism, and to talk about the challenges. I want to do this by asking parents to complete the following sentences, then emailing it to me at amandag at

I have a son/daughter (delete the irrelevant option) with autism and he/she is .... years old.

He/she loves......

He/she is really good at ....

He/she struggles with ....

Sometimes I, as a parent, find it hard when .....

But then I think about the special moments, like when ... (tell us about something great that has happened - an achievement, a hug, a word, a moment that has encouraged you).

Please note: By sending your completed story to Amanda Gray you are giving permission for it to be posted at during April, 2010. Names won't be used unless the you give permission, and then only first names will be used.

If you want to share a photo, you could either use a picture of your child showing their face, or one where you can't see their face... perhaps take a picture from behind as they play their favourite game. Please note that by providing a photo you are giving permission for it to be publicly displayed on the abovenamed blog. Please do not include a photo if you do not agree to this.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Amanda Asks Support Groups:

I also want to share information about what different support groups are doing to help spread Autism Awareness. If you want me to mention your event or activity, please contact me.

It all starts with "Light it Up Blue"

On April 2nd around the world significant buildings are going to be lit up in blue to highlight Autism Awareness Day. In Australia, Melbourne's Federation Square will turn blue.

If you want to find out more about "Light it Up Blue", visit You can make your own contribution to the effort by doing one or more of the following:
  • Change your Facebook profile picture to the Light It Up Blue logo and tag at least 10 of your friends.
  • Post on your blog about how you are “lighting it up blue” to raise autism awareness.
  • Add the Light It Up Blue logo to your e-mail signature … and type your e-mails in blue!
  • On April 2 wear blue clothing and ask your co-workers, schools and friends to wear blue too. Take pictures and add them to our Flickr gallery.
  • Bake puzzle piece shaped cookies and frost them with blue icing, then bring them to your school, work or place of worship to raise autism awareness.
And, remember, if you do these things be ready to answer questions. Make sure that if you do not have first hand knowledge of Autism, that you do some reading on the topic. This is a good place to start:

And come back here to hear Jennifer's story tomorrow....


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