Previously at Autism Life Link, we've promoted #lightitupblue (or the abbreviated #LIUB) during April to help spread awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, we’ve noticed that this year more people are using the term Autism Acceptance Month and using the hashtag #redinstead. So what is this all about and what color should you use to support autistic people and their families this month?
Light It Up Blue (LIUB)
The Light It Up Blue Campaign was started by the organization Autism Speaks to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day (April 2). According to their website, the goals of LIUB are to spread awareness and understanding of autism, honor the unique talents and skills of autistic people and to bring attention to their needs. To celebrate, people wear blue on April 2, use the #LIUB hashtag or make your profile photo blue on social media and/or light up houses and businesses in blue.
Autism Acceptance Month/ Red Instead
According to the website www.autismacceptancemonth.com, Autism Acceptance Month was created as a response to Autism Awareness campaigns by people who felt these campaigns were “harmful and insufficient.” The website lists many reasons for using the term and concept of acceptance, but the general goal is for society to accept autistic people as they are, regular human beings, rather than seeing or treating them as disabled or challenged people. The website promotes the hashtag #AcceptAllOfUs and lists many ways that people can participate.
The hashtag #redinstead isn't officially affiliated with Autism Acceptance Month, but it's in obvious opposition to Autism Speaks campaign. Articles like this one explain that many people are uncomfortable with Autism Speaks because not enough of their proceeds help autistic people, they describe autism as a “global health crisis” and their focus is mainly finding a cure rather than helping and accepting people who currently have autism.
So how will you celebrate this April?
Here at Autism Life Link, we recognize that both awareness and acceptance can be beneficial to the Autism Community. Our goal is to provide resources and help others join the conversation about autism. We’re not here to choose sides or tell anyone what is the “right” or “wrong” way to support autistic people and loved ones. We just want to help in anyway that we can. So whether you choose to #LIUB or go #redinstead, we’re just happy that you’re showing support and participating in a movement to help people!
Make sure you let others know that Autism Awareness Month/Autism Acceptance Month is important to you by sharing our blog on social media or by joining our newsletter!