Hi everyone! This month is World Autism Month which is a very dear to our hearts at Blu Alliance. As we continue to celebrate this month we would like to share that our CEO/Director Amanda Alonzo is diagnosed with Autism as well so this month is very near and dear to our hearts. Below I have included a message and artwork created by Amanda from April 2nd that celebrates World Autism Awareness Day to start off our post in the way of celebration!
A message from our CEO/Director Amanda Alonzo @armybratchic⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Today is World Autism Awareness/Acceptance Day! I am beyond excited to celebrate today! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
A bit about me and how Autism entered my life. When my son was 2 years old he received a diagnosis of autism. After that diagnosis a more than about a decade later I received my own diagnosis of Autism. Autism is very much a part of who we are! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
While we both are Autistic we are not exactly the same. We do have shared similarities in how autism affects our lives but we also have differences in how autism affects our lives. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We both stim, yet in different ways. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We both have sensory overload, but tolerate things on different levels. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We both become dysregulated, which leads to meltdowns, but due to different things. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I am more comfortable with masking, while he does not mask.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
One statement that rings true is from the amazing Temple Grandin and her mother, we are “different not less”. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Today here at Blu Alliance Counseling Center and in my home we will #lightitupblue and show our support for spreading autism awareness to lead to autism acceptance! 💙 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
However you choose to show your support and whatever symbol you choose that you best relate too (for us it’s 🧩) , we are truly ALL in this together 💙 and have one shared and common goal in supporting each other and other fellow autistics and their families 💙. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Image: A puzzle piece and butterfly with an infinity symbol connecting them. Designed by Amanda Alonzo
As we continue our journey of spreading awareness we here at Blu Alliance wanted to delve deeper into how World Autism Month started and how we can all particiapte together.
World Autism Month is a global event that Autism Speaks celebrates starting with a United Nations sanctioned event World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd. Here is some facts about World Autism Month and how you can participate from AutismSpeaks.org
What is World Autism Month?
Every April Autism Speaks celebrates World Autism Month, beginning with United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Throughout the month, we focus on sharing stories and providing opportunities to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, fostering worldwide support. This year, we are committed to keeping the spirit of the month alive, as now more than ever we know the autism community needs support, kindness and compassion. In April 2021 we’re inviting the community to #LightUpWithKindness.
How can I participate?
There is power in kindness and one small act can have a ripple effect to foster kindness in our communities. We believe that that kindness can help create a world where all people can reach their full potential.
Supporters can participate in the initiative by visiting autismspeaks.org/wam where they can:
- Commit to take action toward a kinder world.
- Connect with kindness by sharing resources and stories on social media to increase global understanding and acceptance.
- Lead with kindness by advocating to help advance policies that positively impact the autism community or starting a kindness campaign at work.
- Learn with kindness in the classroom with daily kind acts and fundraising activities.
- Care with kindness by accessing and sharing resources, including our Autism Response Team who provide real-time support, guidance and reliable information and services.
- Give with kindness through a donation, purchase in our e-store, or support of our corporate partners.
Other ways to participate include wearing blue on April 2, lighting buildings blue and exploring stories and photos shared by the diverse autism community.
What is Light It Up Blue?
The Light It Up Blue initiative was created by Autism Speaks in 2010. Since that time, joined by the international autism community, hundreds of thousands of landmarks, buildings, homes and communities around the world light blue on World Autism Awareness Day (April 2) in recognition of people with autism.
With the recent Autism Speaks logo change from blue to the spectrum of colors, can I still “Light It Up Blue?”
Yes! Autism Speaks is still rooted in our legacy blue.
Where can I get items to show my support of Autism Speaks?
Please visit the Autism Speaks eStore to purchase t-shirts, bracelets, pins, yard signs and other promotional products to spread kindness. Printed materials such as posters, flyers and brochures can be downloaded for free from the resources page.
How can I light my home blue?
You can purchase Phillips Autism Speaks blue light bulbs at Home Depot stores or visit www.homedepot.com and search “Autism Speaks Lights.”
I want to light my commercial building or public structure blue. What resources are available?
Visit www.rosco.com/LIUB for information on commercial lighting options.
How can I share my WAM photos online?
Download our Selfie Frame to use and show your support for people with autism. Then share photos by posting them with the hashtag #LightItUpBlue and #kindnesscounts to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram. The Selfie Frame can be found below for download!Selfie_Frame
Can I use the Autism Speaks World Autism Month marks for my event/fundraiser?
- The logo must remain intact. You may not change or add anything to it.
- You may not place the logo on any product or use for selling purposes.
- In the US, any fundraising activity utilizing the World Autism Month marks (or any Autism Speaks marks) must have the authorization of Autism Speaks. Contact email@example.com and an Autism Speaks representative will contact you directly to review guidelines.
Where can I get the World Autism Month logo?
Here are some flyers from Autism Speaks that you can share to spread to teach ourselves and others how to spread kindness and awareness during World Autism Month!WAM_General_Flyer
We here at Blu Alliance find it very important that during this month it is very important to prioritize our mental health so we can show kindness to ourselves. Below we have included a few directories that connect you to sliding scale opportunities for therapy as well as directories that will connect you to therapists who identify as People of Color (POC).
Therapy for Black Girls – Therapy for Black Girls is an online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls.
Therapy for Black Men – TherapyForBlackMen.org is a directory to help men of color in their search for a therapist. Using the directory, men can search by therapist location and specialization. Searching by location, the results will include the therapists near you and will display their credentials, location, and the issues they treat.
LatinxTherapy – Demystifying mental health stigmas in the Latinx community nationwide which includes a directory that has Latinx therapists.
InclusiveTherapists – Inclusive Therapists offers a safer, simpler way to find a culturally responsive, social justice-oriented therapist.
Open Path Collective – In partnership with licensed mental health clinicians in private practice throughout the fifty states, Open Path Psychotherapy Collective provides middle and lower-income level individuals, couples, families, and children with access to affordable psychotherapy and mental health education services.
I am the Group Coordinator at Blu Alliance Counseling Center. I contribute to the Blu Alliance Blog where my focus is providing information about therapy in a way that is honest, and relatable. My educational background includes a BA in Psychology from Cal State Los Angeles, and an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Alliant International University.