This is My Autism

March 16, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 573 Comments
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Dear Mr. President,

I need your help.

Last year, on April 2, 2010, you issued a statement expressing your support of World Autism Awareness Day. I appreciate the fact that you did that. Your support is vital to our community.

But I’ll be honest with you, Mr. President. I didn’t even see your statement until I really started digging around on the Internet last night. With all due respect, Sir, if I didn’t see it, I’m guessing almost no one saw it.

Mr. President, when you spoke to a parent of a child with autism in a crowd outside Philadelphia in 2008, you spoke to me. When you said that your General Counsel had an autistic child and that one of your best friends in Chicago also had an autistic child, I leaned in closer to my screen. When you told that parent, “I know how fiercely you love your child, but I also know how hard it is, how much work it is for you and how much support you need,” I listened. And I dared to hope. I dared to believe that you might make things different for my little girl.

My daughter has autism, Mr. President. And you’re right; I love her fiercely. I love her with a ferocity and a tenderness that can only co-exist within a mother’s heart. I love her so much that there is nothing on God’s green Earth that I wouldn’t do to help mitigate her challenges. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do to make the world less foreign to her, less hostile. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do to ensure that every day when she steps outside our door, she is met with tolerance and understanding and compassion. That she is seen by the world as a full and complete human being – not as a set of challenges encompassed by a single word. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do to ensure that her talents and unique gifts are recognized, fostered and celebrated throughout her lifetime.

Above all, there is nothing that I wouldn’t do ensure that she has the opportunity to contribute to our great nation.

Mr. President, as much as it pains me to admit, these are not things that I can do alone. I carry my soapbox wherever I go, but my platform is small. I need your help.

On April 2nd of this year, the world will join together in observation of the Fourth Annual World Autism Awareness Day. As you know, this day exists because it has to. Because our children’s ranks are now growing in undeniably epidemic proportions. Because 1 in 110 children are now on the autism spectrum. 1 in 110. Please take a moment to let the enormity of that number sink in. The numbers aren’t getting any smaller. And someday mothers like me – mothers of 1 in every 110 children – will no longer be here to take care of our precious babies.

If our children are to thrive without us, it will only be in a world that understands them. The people that they encounter every day will need to know what autism is – what it really is – day in and day out. They will need to know how hard my baby works to communicate. How much time and support it’s taken to get her where she is now. How proud I am of everything that she has accomplished. How much potential she has. What an incredible human being she already is. How much this entire group of people has to offer our society if we are willing to see them – really, truly see them, recognize them and include them in our communities.

On April 2nd, landmark buildings around the world will participate in a campaign to help shine a light on autism. They will Light Up Blue as a statement of solidarity, celebration, understanding, compassion, and hope. They will light up blue to say, “We are here. We see you. We hear you. We support you.”

On April 2nd, I will change my porch lights to blue, Mr. President. And in so doing, I will talk to the ten or fifteen people who may ask me why. Ten or fifteen people will walk away that day with a new understanding, a new sensitivity, a new commitment to help make life better for children like my daughter.

Sir, I need your help. I need you to light YOUR house blue too. Because when you do, you will start millions of conversations. Ten or fifteen million people will ask why, then ten or fifteen million more. And people like me – and thousands upon thousands of our friends – will be there to tell them.

Mr. President, I’ll be honest. We need a lot more than blue bulbs. We need research and a renewed and reinvigorated commitment to real scientific inquiry and critical thinking. We need the money that you promised to fully fund IDEA. We need sweeping legislative change. We need a federal mandate on insurance reform. We need passage of the ABLE Accounts Act and a reauthorization of the Combating Autism Act. We need affordable and appropriate housing for our children as they transition into adulthood. We need the money that you promised to allocate to autism services, research and treatment. And far more.

It’s a heck of a list. And I get it; I do. Those aren’t things that you can do in a day.

But what I’m asking you for right now is something that you CAN do in a day.

I’m asking you to help us begin a conversation in earnest. To light the fire of awareness in our nation. A nation where a mother dares to hope that when people talk to one another – really talk to one another – the world can change for her children.

This is blissfully apolitical. Autism is not partisan. It does not discriminate between black and white, privileged nor impoverished. It simply lands where it will and affects every aspect of an entire family’s life.

Your girls are beautiful, Mr. President. They are poised and confident, graceful and self-assured. You must be incredibly proud of both of them. I ask you, Sir, what if Malia or Sasha had autism? What would you do to help them? I’m guessing the better question is, What wouldn’t you do?

At the very least, I know that you’d buy a couple of light bulbs and help spark a conversation.

For my incredible daughter, and for the million others like her. For their mothers and fathers and siblings. For their aunts and uncles and grandparents. For their neighbors and friends. For an entire generation who will either bear the brunt of blind support or reap the rewards of full acceptance  – acceptance that can only be born of awareness.

Please, Mr. President. We need your help.

Sincerely,

Jess, Proud mother of two beautiful girls and author of Diary of a Mom

Diary of a Mom

P.S. I respectfully urge you to read the comments below. They have come from every corner of the autism community – truly united in its request for your support.

 

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    • Hi Jess
      I have a 12 year old daughter with Autism. I was hooked on every word. I understood and felt your anguish. I live in Australia and I can tell you that the Australian Government has ignored and neglected our children. In my home state we do not have 1 classroom, unit or school dedicated to Autism. Our own Autism Association does nothing to raise awareness effectively. Parents are frustrated and angry. I could go on but I won’t. Love to your family. Cheers, Angie

      • We, the parents of children who struggle with autism have become tired and our voices hoarse, but when we all cry out together we can be heard. The sad fact is that there are more and more of us.

        For my family, for my amazing son who has fought so hard for every advance he’s made…LIGHT IT UP BLUE MR. OBAMA!

    • Jess, this is written with a ferocity that only you have in writing. Thank you.

      Mr. President, I am a young adult woman with Asperger’s. I am eternally grateful because I am just now starting service (for the first time in my life) through my state’s Adult Autism Waiver Program. I will get ABA therapy and community inclusion services for as long as I need them. But you know, it’s not really enough. Until people understand what autism is… ALL forms of autism… this world will not be a welcoming place to me. I come across as a highly intelligent, albeit awkward, quiet, and immature 23-year-old… people hear the intelligence and try to talk to me like I’m 23, when in reality, mentally and emotionally and socially I am more like a 10-12 year old. I want people to learn about autism, but also about MY autism. Please, Mr. President, Light It Up Blue.

      • You sound a lot like my 20 year old son. I wish you well.

      • Lydia, you have the same type of Asperger as my son. He is only 9 so we are just beginning to understand how different and difficult the world is. I wish you luck and success in all that you do.
        Please Mr. President, Light it Up Blue for all of t he wonderful people and children who need a little understanding.

    • I am grandmother to two wonderful children. One, a beautiful young lady who excells in all that she does. The other, a wonderful little man who was just diagnoised at age 2 with Autisim. Someone has seen fit to give me grandchildren on opposite ends of life’s spectrum. But, I know in my heart that both will excel in all that they do. They will just do it in different ways!

      I will be lighting up blue, and hope that President Obama does the same. Words are not enough! Please Mr. President, show the world that you are aware!!!

    • I am going to light my porch up blue also. I have a 12 year old son that is none verbal. I do worry about when he grows up I am not around. Please hepl by lighting up the White House BLUE. PLESAE!!

    • Dear Mr. President,
      Please heed Jess’s letter. She speaks for all of us. One night will cost so very little but will raise awareness about so very many.
      Thank you!

      • Dear Mr. President,
        Please light the White House blue on April 2nd. Jess is trying to do what so many others have to, fight for their children. It is only one night, how could you possibly not?

        Thank you!

    • Dear Mr. Obama,

    • Mr. President,

      If there is one thing that you can do during your term that will unify an entire nation, it would be to Light it Up Blue at the White House on April 2nd for World Autism Day.

      I am a parent of an amazing boy with Autism and he is a wonderful gift to our family and the world. More people need to recognize the incredible qualities of people with Autism and you can help to bring awareness to this often misunderstood condition.

      We’re counting on you to do the right thing and Light it Up Blue.

      Best regards,
      Lisa

    • I agree completely agree with this and could have written this myself as I think of my son. In addition to lighting up the White House, how about you and the First Lady going a step further and wearing the blue puzzle piece to further show your support

    • Excellent letter. I have a 4 year daughter with Aspergers and a son 2 with PDD NOS and this letter brought tears to my eyes. Hopefully everyone will LIGHT IT UP BLUE, even Mr. Obama. Good Luck to all, know that we are Heroes to our children, but most of all they are our inspiration to help them and others! Be well!

      • I think this is the very least we can do. My son, a 10 year old, with Aspergers has had many successes in life. It has taken so much to get us here. Awareness and kindness have been our cheerleaders along the way. I pray that others have the same.

    • Mr President,

      Many today are complaining because they feel our leaders do nothing but talk. Amazingly, today, I am asking along with others who have loved ones with autism for your support to start a conversation about autism. You can do this without saying a word. All you have to do is “Light It Up Blue” and the conversations will start themselves, opening not only a dialog, but awareness that our children are our future and 1 in 110 of them are autistic. Someone opened a dialog about autism when my son was 7 and in 2nd grade and offered to see what they could do to help him achieve in a mainstream setting at a time when it just wasn’t done. Here we are with him at age 19 and attending his first year in college. It took dialog, awareness and some dedicated people to change his life, and his future. You have the opportunity to help change the lives and future of so many. Please, Light it Up Blue!

    • I have called. I have written and inquired. I have asked to the people in charge of our great city of Nashville, TN to consider the lighting of some of our Governmet and Touristic buildings in Blue just for two days, but the response I have have gotten is: IT COSTS TOO MUCH MONEY and there is no funding. I am heart broken but will continue lighting my front porch blue on April 1st and 2nd. I love my 5 year old daughter to pieces just like you do your son; there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her. I just need understanding from others. Awareness Awareness Awareness. I will keep all of you in my prays as I we continue this journey. :0)

    • What an inspirational letter, Jess. As a parent, I can understand that you will go to any length to protect and nurture your children. Though it may seem like a small gesture, lighting up the White House BLUE would have a monumental effect on the movement of autism awareness. Please Mr. President, on April 2nd Light the White House BLUE for Autism. xoxoLisa

    • Hi Jess,
      As usual another insightful, beautiful and heartfelt post. As an educator of children in an integrated program I can tell you that the numbers and severity of children struggling with Autism is definitely increasing. It would be wonderful to get the support that is so badly needed on a Federal level. Light up Blue Mr. President. It’s the very least you can do!

    • My family and I are in agreement. Autism is the next health crisis in this country.

    • I will be lighting up my porch, car and wearing blue! All in support of my 5 year old autistic nephew. Hope the White House will too.

    • My 8yr old son has Asperger’s Syndrome. Everyday comes with tears, sadness, frustration, helpessness, fear, and moments of joy. It would mean so much to our family if you, President Obama, would do this one thing for the Autistic community.

      If you can “light it up pink and green” you can most certainly Light it up Blue!!!

    • Light It Up Blue for all the wonderful people I know.

    • vI would love to see The White House all dressed up in blue April 1 and April 2. My son was recently diagnosed with Autism. It hit hard and fast and I was completely unprepared. I wish a President before you, Mr. Obama, would have lit The White House blue. Maybe then I wouldn’t have been blindsided by the news. It’s not just for those who suffer… It’s more importantly for those who don’t know yet that they and someone they love more then life itself will be effected by Autism . It’s for all the children like my son who have to be judged by this label they carry with them everyday. Please, Mr. President, you could be the one to change all that. You could help so many people. I’m begging you with every ounce of everything that I have left…. Please help us! Thank you.

    • Mr. President,
      There are far too many of “us” out here hoping that you read this beautifully written letter, and understand the urgency that it holds. Our children are the future of this country, and they need to know that their government supports them, and wants to understand them, as they are.
      Please show how much you care, and how dedicated you are to Autism Awareness and Light It Blue!

      With Great Respect,
      Christa Lind

    • Thank you Jess for writing such an elegant request that is heartfelt and sincere!! If only everyone could share our perspective on what Autism is for each family…oh wait, they sort of can by STANDING with us and lighting blue for support. I certainly hope that the president supports us!

      Kathy Darrow

      http://whatisrdi.blogspot.com/

    • Jess, thank you so much for putting this letter out there. My 8 year old son was diagnosed in the fall of 2010 with Aspergers, and a year prior to that, ADHD. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comments everyday, when I read through your blog. I also implore President Obama to Light up the Blue at the White House. Thank you again for speaking about things that I don’t hear anyone else around me talk about. It’s a blessing to know we are not alone. We stand united!!

    • Hello Mr President,

      I am asking you to light the White House blue on April 1 and 2 to spread awareness about Autism, a disability now affecting 1 in 110 children.One of these children is my 7 year old son.He is one of the sweetest, most loving, little boys that I have ever met but needs alot of supports in his life.When your child is diagnosed with Autism you are given little more then a pamphlet describing Autism and you left to enter the world and learn about services and how to navigate through the public school system.You become your child’s biggest adovocate making sure they are receiving all the services they need to be the most succesful they can be. But our world is still a small world,alot of the people in the United States still don’t fully understand Autism.By you lighting up the White house blue you will start a conversation,help educate what Autism is.Please consider our request…..Please help us spread awaremess!

    • Dear Jess and Mr. President,

      In admiration of your combined voice and spirit I join you in a shared cause. As a mother of four beautiful and talented children on the spectrum I dedicate my life to helping children with Autism. I have started a foundation and a behavioral care center supporting inclusion. I am an American I live in the Netherlands. I am proud that my country supports health care reforms to make it possible for all children with Autism to eventually get the ABA treatment they need. I am fighting for the same cause. My husband and I have given all we have to help children like ours to get the same start in life our children were fortunate to have. We are remortgaging our home in order to find the funds to support treatment and research in The Netherlands. However, this isn’t enough and will never be enough until people in a position of power join parents and children with Autism in supporting the future of our nation’s children. I pray to God that one day the world will recognize the incredible talents and gifts that Autism brings along with the challenges and love and embrace our children as their own.

      Thank you,

      Jennifer Niemeijer

  2. As always a beautiful voice for our (unfortunately) fast growing community.

    Mr. President won’t you Light It Up Blue?

  3. Jess – it’s amazing, heart-felt and well-written. My sentiments exactly, if only I could express them the way you do.

    xxJanet Wyse
    mother of three beautiful angels, one with autism

  4. I am in total agreement. Jess is our voice. gail b.

  5. Well done and thank-you on behalf of Aidan.

  6. Jess, Thank you for writing this beautiful letter. I will light up blue for the day and keep the conversation and hope going for your wonderful daughter and all the others like her. Mr. President, I hope you will, too.

  7. Dear Mr. President

    I have written you before. About my son. And about our families who live with autism. 1 in 110 Americans. We need your voice. So very desperately.

  8. Wow, amazing. You said it all for your girl, for mine, and all our kids. Thank you.

  9. You are an amazing writer. I do hope that somehow, someway, this crosses the President’s desk! Thank you for writing what so many feel.

  10. Thank you for speaking for those of us who could never express ourselves as beautifully as you are able to do!

  11. Jess, This is awesome. I hope the President listens, because right now state governments are tightening belts and the first things being cut are early intervention programs and services for people with special needs.

    We need a huge national initiative to counterbalance this. Because a state representative of New Hampshire has said we should just dispose of all the broken people and not spend any of our hard earned money on “defectives”, like the disabled, and that furthermore he wished we could “ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population.” And some people actually agree with this lunacy. I never thought I would hear ideas straight out of Hitler’s Germany coming out of American elected officials, but it has come to this.

    Anyway, thank you for writing this heartfelt and beautifully written letter. I sincerely hope President Obama listens, hears and responds. We need this. Our children needs this. The moral fiber of our society is only as strong as how we treat the weakest and and most fragile members of our population. Here is a chance to do the right thing. Let’s not blow it.

  12. As always Jess, beautifully written. I stand at her side asking for you to light up your home as we will be in honor of our 4 year old Nicholas. I pray that one simple act on your behalf might create a domino effect of dialog and spur our nation to realize that it isn’t our differences that define us but rather our uniqueness that makes our world brighter.

  13. Very powerful and moving letter. Brought me to tears. Thank you so much for being our voice. I stand behind you and this letter!

  14. Wow. Perfect – I couldn’t agree more.

  15. Beautifully written, as always, Jess. Thank you for putting into words what so many of us are feeling.

    Mr President, should you read this, thank you for your time and consideration to speak hope into thousands of families and provide open dialogue to thousands more.

    Josie
    (mother of 3 amazing kids, 2 on the autism spectrum)

  16. It was a beautiful letter! And it captures so much of the issue perfectly.

  17. From one more mother in Brentwood, Tennessee. For my daughter, Shea, and for all of the daughters and sons out there, we’ll be changing our porch lights and hope to see a “blue” White House too.

  18. Well said. I will be lighting our house blue in April. My eldest son has autism.

  19. Thank you, Jess.

    I urge you, Mr. President, to shine a light on the struggles, and the triumphs, and the challenges, and the joys shared by all of us within this community by Lighting Up Blue on April 2nd. Please do it for my 3-year-old son, Jonas, whom I would give the suns and the moon and stars to if I were able, and for all of our sons and daughters. We must educate our world if we are to create a community in which all children, including the astounding number of children with autism and other differences, can thrive. Please help us to make the world a kinder, gentler, more understanding place for our children by starting those millions of conversations.

    Thank you,

    Aimee Velazquez
    Massachusetts

  20. Jess speaks for this family of five -which includes an AMAZING 3-year-old little boy with autism. Buy a few bulbs and start the conversation!

  21. This is what so many of us HOPE for… the conversations… the compassion… the beacon for change.

    A heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Jess. She so eloquently speaks the painful truth, and inspires all of us to keep moving forward for our kids.

    Please, Mr. President… Light it up Blue for MY daughter… and MY nephew… and ALL of those who LIVE with autism, DOCTOR someone with autism, TEACH someone with autism, and LOVE someone with autism.

    Light it up Blue for the 1 in 88 MILITARY children who live with autism… more than 12,000 children of active duty soldiers who could benefit from that one, blue, shining light, Sir.

    Light it up Blue because Jess is right – it is ONE thing you CAN DO in a day.

    Thank you, Sir. God Bless You, and God Bless America.

  22. Thank you so much for writing this letter. You said everything the rest of us would have said. I look forward to hopefully seeing the White House blue.

  23. Beautiful, from the heart, and completely true! Thank you for putting in to words what we all feel!!

  24. Very Powerful! I hope the President listens!

  25. LIGHT IT UP BLUE WHITE HOUSE! Our kids are smart, funny, sweet, beautiful and kind. They deserve at least this from the White House.

    • Please help all of our children & adults with autism, so many wonderful words have been spoken on this letter. in behalf of my son thank you very much. mr president we need more help!!!!! not tomorrow not 2 yrs from but today forward!

  26. Thank you, Jess, for using your voice to be our voice. The voice of my amazing 13 year old son who has autism, my 11 year old daughter who sacrifices so much for her brother, my husband who never stops working to support this family in all ways, and this proud yet weary mom who looks back at how far we’ve come but is so very frightened about what lies ahead.
    Mr. President, will you please help?

  27. Jess-

    I believe in this 100% I love that you get up every morning- rain or shine- sleep or none and you write to the world about your beautiful children and the *extra* challenges you are given as a parent. I love that you tell other parents out there that autism is a rainbow of mental and physical emotions. I am honored to have met you and your family and I love following your page. Hopefully when the girls grow up Every April 2nd a ‘blue’ light bulb will be the same as ‘Christmas’ light bulb (or whatever kind of bulb) in all homes.

    Mr. President- It takes a hot second to change a light bulb- or heck- have someone else change it for you. Point is…make it happen. Change is a wonderful thing.

  28. This letter truly captures the feelings of a parent with autism. We need acceptance. We need research. We need services covered by insurance. We need funded educational programs. Most of all…we need support.

  29. Also, Mr. President, for my 13 year old son who has Albert Einstein’s brain and behaves like a two year old.

  30. Jess is an amazing writer and an impassioned advocate. This is a wonderful letter. I hope he sees it…

  31. thank you all for your support!

  32. Absolutely, ditto everything Jess just said, we need help from the top, we need u to show the country that this is something so important, something that can no longer be overlooked! These are our children, our babies, and Autism speaks, be that spark that helps the world to listen!

  33. She speaks for my son as well…and for me and my husband. And he and I vote, sir.

  34. If only I had the foresight ( and this gift for exactly the right words at the right time ) to have already done so, this is the EXACT letter I would have written Mr. Obama. Thank you, from another home with a blue porch light, and another mother who fiercely and tenderly loves my daughters – one ASD and one NT – and who would move heaven and earth and anything else that got in the way of them reaching their full potential, or which hurt them…

    I am the LUCKY ASD mom. I have a daughter who is high functioning. One who is fully mainstreamed. One who is verbal. One who will be able to live, in some fashion, independently, when she truly needs to. One who can “pass” most of the time for “normal.” Except when she can’t. CAN’T. And perhaps the hardest battle we face is the one the blue-light is designed to address – recognition and following that, dialog and compassionate understanding.

    Because she functions so well so much of the time, because she looks just like everyone else, the world expects her to BE like everyone else. And she isn’t. And she won’t be. Not because she is stubborn, or bad, or selfish, or spoiled, or a trouble maker, or isn’t trying hard enough… Because she CAN’T. She isn’t BUILT that way. She achieves what she does through a force of will and an effort I can only just barely imagine mustering every day. And then, sometimes, the energy, the reserves, run out.

    When she can no longer manage to act and react like “normal” people not only does she have to fight to understand the great many demands of a world alien to her understanding, and fight to regain her self control, physically and emotionally, she must fight the rest of the world’s misunderstandings and judgments that there is something WRONG with her instead of something merely different about her. And then, she must fight to keep from believing herself that she is damaged, wrong, unworthy…

    No child should have to fight those battles, let alone fight them over and over, day after day after day.

    Please, light the White House blue. Fight WITH our children instead of against them!!!

    • I couldnt have said that any better-amen!

    • Breathtakingly on target, Dana. Thank you.

    • Wow, Dana,
      As beautifully written as Jess’ letter was, your response spoke sraight to my heart. It feels like you were writing about my son. Thank you for so eloquently putting my feelings on paper.
      Christa Lind

    • First, Jess, your letter was incredibly to the point & beautiful. Thank you.

      Second, Dana, your descriptions of your daughter sounds exactly like my daughter. I feel as if you spoke from my heart.

      Most importantly, Mr. President, Autism in its many forms is quite often the “Invisible Disability”. My child appears in almost every way like a typical child. Which is what makes it harder to explain to people when her triggers rear their ugly head. It can also interfere with our own methods of coping with these situations when someone tries to give you advice on how to handle your “misbehaving” child. Worst of all are what I like to call the “bad mommy/bad child” looks, which comes from a place of judgement & ignorance. Our children do not need to be judged. They need to be accepted for who they are. Please, Mr. President, Light it Blue.

    • Dana That sounds like my son. So many times people just assume he can when he can’t. When the stemming starts from the axeity they think he is acting out. Unlike a “normal” person he does not know how to get the anxiety out so yes he makes noises, paces in circles starts obsessively drawing. It’s what helps him he is not trying to distract anyone.

  35. Awesome words, as usual! Come on, there’s only an upside to putting in a few blue bulbs for a night! Plus, you’ll feel great to know you’ve helped get the conversation going! Come on, just do it!

  36. Jess,

    As usual, you have beautifully expressed what is in the heart and mind of every parent within the autism community. Thank you so much for getting on your soapbox on our behalf. You are an inspiration, as are your beautiful girls. I sincerely hope that your incredible message is heard, genuinely heard, by the President. In my home, we fight battles every day dealing with autism. In my home, we fight battles every day as a military family. The awareness and acknowledgement that would stem from lighting the White House blue would certainly help sustain though of us who are battle weary. I pray that your message, our message will be heard.

  37. Thank you so much, Jess. Your words speak for me. I am hopeful that this will happen.

  38. Jess, that is so beautiful.So simple and yet so powerful.

  39. Could not get the lump out of my throat as I read this. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for speaking for us and our amazing children. God bless!

  40. Jess, Thank you for writing this beautiful letter. I will light up blue for the day and keep the conversation and hope going for your wonderful daughter and all the others like her. Mr. President, I hope you will, too.

  41. Jess speaks for the thousands of us parents out here looking to you to lead the way. Showing your support by “Lighting It Up Blue” would not only show parents that you are with us, but our children too.

    Mr. President, my eight year old son needs to see that you understand what we’re going through as a family. His four-year-old brother has autism, and he sees the challenges his brother faces and asks constantly if there’s ways we can help. My oldest child alternates between being frustrated by his brother’s behavior and being protective and supportive. He has done it in silence because he doesn’t want any of his friends to know about his brother.

    But just recently, for the first time ever, he asked his teacher how they were going to commemorate Autism Awareness month in April. For the first time, he’s going public with it.

    Mr. President, if my eight-year-old son wants to Light It Up Blue, don’t you think you can too? If only to show the siblings that autism is nothing to be ashamed of? That there’s nothing more important than supporting their brothers and sisters in their daily struggles?

    Thank you.
    Sincerely, Alysia (mother of three boys)

  42. Perfect, Jess. Simply perfect.

  43. My Grandson has Autism and He brings so much Joy to my life I will transform my lights to BLUE for him and the thousands who lives are affected by Autism. Mr. President we need More Research! But, can you Please light up the White house “Blue” To show your support without signing no papers. Just by changing some bulbs! Thank you! And My Grandson, Isaick Thanks you!

  44. Beautifully written, Jess! My sweet 6 yr old daughter was diagnosed with autism in 2008 and nothing can prepare a parent to hear those crushing words. There is nothing more painful than seeing your child stuggle and not be able to take away that hurt. We are fortunate that our daughter has had access to fantastic services, responded well and has made very good progress. My heart aches for the many parents who fight everyday and struggle to obtain the services their child needs. Awareness is the first step and very important but you are SO right that much more is needed. I will never stop advocating and working towards the life my daughter and all of these precious children deserve. A parent’s love for their child propels us towards this goal every day. I will be lighting up my house with blue and ask you please, Mr. President, to join us.

  45. Wonderfully written. Brought me to tears. Thank you.

  46. Thank you for speaking so eloquently on behalf of all of us! You have many gifts!

  47. Absolutely amazing and right on. Once again you put into words what I cannot seem too. Awareness is a start in the right direction. We have children being jailed because of misunderstandings. Not only do we need awareness but training for our teachers, law enforcement, ems, hospital staff. once again amazing post I agree with you 110%.

  48. Beautiful! You articulate the feelings of all ASD parents perfectly! Thanks Jess!

  49. As always, you hit the nail on the head. Great letter, congrats Jess..and here’s hoping we see a blue white house on April 2nd!

  50. This is beautiful Jess!! Thank you for writing this as you speak for so many of us. Wonderfully written, well thought out, just perfect!

  51. Beautifully said. Could not agree more. I hope the president can carry forth the light that your torch illuminates us with every day. Thank you for writing this.

  52. I know these are busy and fearful times, but that doesn’t mean we should not tend to the children in this country with Autism. No harm would come from Lighting the White House blue. IN fact, it would create a wonderful opportunity to support the research for improving the lives of all of the beautiful children and people who are Autistic…
    Do it for them
    thank you for reading this,
    K Morgan

  53. Jess, thank you for your dedication. I couldn’t agree more with you! Please Mr. President, light the fire of awareness in our nation!

  54. Amen. Wonderful letter! I agree with you 100%. Mr. President, please make this small effort which in turn can make huge changes in people’s awareness and attitudes!!!

  55. We are crying out, SCREAMING, for our children. Most times my thoughts are so jumbled and disjointed, preoccupied in the moment of caring for my son on the Autism Spectrum, that I wonder what I must sound like and if others even HEAR me. Do you HEAR us, Mr. President? I would think the voices of parents and teachers and caregivers of 1 in 110 children on the Autism Spectrum could be heard. Jess at Diary of a Mom always lifts ALL of our voices up so eloquently and she speaks with such truth and ernest and passion that gives the rest of us hope that we ARE being heard! We are here, Mr. President, and we ALL have our stories to tell of what our Autism looks like. Give us a sign to show us we are being heard! For Jess and her daughter, for me and my son, for the parent-bloggers who write about their children on the Autism spectrum looking for hope, connection, help…for all of the millions of parents out there with children on the Autism Spectrum, I respectfully implore you to just give us one little sign that we are, in fact, being HEARD. Please light up the White House blue on April 2, 2011.

    Thank you from the bottom of my screaming, aching, loving, caring heart for me and my son.

    Karen at A Chameleon’s Blog

  56. Yes Mr. President we are here and listening. These children are beautiful as are your children. It’s a simple concept that will change millions of lives. Thanks Jess for fighting for all of our children.

    Sincerely,
    Daisy

  57. I sure hope that whomever is reading this on behalf of the White House understands that if President Obama needs to read one letter on behalf or lighting his house blue, this is the one! The author is a trusted voice in our autism spectrum world, and her words are written for herself, and for the rest of us who are not able to phrase all these thruths so beautifully.
    Mr. President, our kids with autism keep growing older everyday and they need to live among people who understand them. How is that ever going to happen if most of the rest of the world lives in the dark about the disorder? Please help by lighting your house blue this April 2nd.

    Thank you Jess for writing this.

    Paula

  58. What a moving and inspiring letter!
    You give us, the parents, a voice! Someone like me who can only scream into my pillow at night or cry in the shower. So much emotion because I worry about how we’re going to be able to pay for my son’s medicine when he runs out because my insurance doesn’t cover it. I cry because he needs speech therapy and I can’t afford it because I’m paying the full price for his medication. I cry because I feel I’m not doing the best I can for him. I feel I should be doing more, but I can’t. So thank you. Thank you for giving me a voice!

  59. Wonderfully written! We, too, plan to light it up blue at our house. For my Caleb and all of the autism community.

  60. Jess, this is an incredible letter.

    Love you,
    Mom

  61. I am a mother of one out of 110. I parent, work, love, advocate, and VOTE.

  62. I’m hopeful the president who won the presidency on a platform of hope and change can bring some of that hope and change to the autism community. Our children are depending on it. So are we, the parent of the one out of every 110 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.

  63. Agree whole-heartedly! Blue It UP!!!

  64. Beautifully written. For all the children who work their butts off every day. For my son who today said “I messed up another good day” and broke my heart once again. For all the moms and dads, brothers and sisters whose hearts are heavy but they keep going… I hope he lights it blue.

  65. Beautifully written, both heartfelt and with a clear call to action.

  66. Absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much for writing the truth so eloquently!!

  67. Beautifully written. I hope with every fiber of my being that he listens.

  68. As a mom of 4 amazing kids, one on the spectrum for Autism, I ask you to please, Mr. President, light the White House blue, and start the conversation!
    ~Terry

    http://mossandclover.blogspot.com

  69. Thank you, Jess, for once again being able to put into writing what our hearts scream everyday.
    And, yes, Mr. President, we ARE in fact here. Every day. Over and over we follow Jess’s blog because she understands us and she speaks for us when we cannot find the right words. Please, Mr. President, our children desperately need services, full services covered on insurance. And all of the American children with Autism Spectrum Disorders should have access to medical insurance that covers the very necessary therapies our children require. So many children do not receive the intervention and therapies that they desperately need because of coverage being denied. Where will those children go when they have aged out of the public school system? What skills will they have beyond what their families teach them? You HAVE the ability to help our children. You COMMITTED to helping our children. Please, we ask, will you help our children? Start with just one night & light up YOUR house blue. Then start working on fulfilling your promise to our children.
    Thank you for your time.

  70. Jess, thank you so much for writing this, for expressing our needs and fears so eloquently and sincerely, as you always do. And Mr. President, thank you for listening, and for making a difference.

  71. Absolutely a well-written letter! I’ve followed your blog for a while and I love your writing, but this letter to the President truly is one of your better compositions. On behalf of parents of autistic children everywhere, (myself included), thank you for being a voice for us! I sincerely hope the President makes good on his words and shows some awareness by Lighting It Up Blue!

  72. As a teacher, I can’t thank you enough for writing this, Jess. The root of all education is open-minded discussion, and this letter is a vital part of it.

  73. Thank you Jess for speaking so eloquently! There are so many of us out there fighting for our children with autism and I hope that they hear us! Let’s keep sending letters, blogs and articles until people start to take notice!

  74. Jess – Thank you for writing this. Thank you for all you do for awareness on a daily basis. Thank you for sharing your experiences with the rest of us, because when no one else seems to get it – you alaways do. So from the bottom of my heart, Thank you.

    Mr. President, Please know that this beautifully written letter represents thousands of families accross the nation. We may not all have the eloquent words that Jess does, but we all have stuggles. Daily struggles for our kiddos. We will light it up blue and try and help educate those we can, but it would mean so much to all of us if you woud light it up blue – show the world you are listening, and supporting us. Help us to educate with a few blue light bulbs. Thank you!

  75. Well spoken. Thanks for believing that he is listening.

    Beth

  76. As usual Jess, you spoke from your heart and described all of our hearts. I am so glad you can be such a beautiful voice for all of us. Perfectly written!

    Mr. President, I hope you hear us and start this conversation. We are all willing and anxious to continue it.

  77. Some days I stand behind my daughter pushing her out to the world and watching her go. Other days I stand in front of her, sheilding her from the bitterness of reality. Some days we stand together in joy, feeling the love together.

    Today we’re standing with you, Jess!

    Mr. President, it seems like so little, although it’s probably a big deal to negotiate lighting the White House blue. Stand together in joy with us, make my shoulders a little stronger, create a little awareness for the harsh reality of autism.

  78. Right on, Jess! Mr. President, please light it blue in honor of my son, Christian, too.

  79. All children no matter what need acceptance. Awareness is a start.

  80. PLEASE for ALL the military familes that struggle to serve thier country and their kids. This simple step can show everyone how important our kids are. Make those lights BLUE!

  81. My favorite quote when I was in High School was “All the darkness of the world cannot put out the light of one single candle”. With a daughter on the spectrum that saying never rang more true. In spite of all of the challenges she faces on a daily basis she never gives up. Please light up the White House blue on April 2nd.

  82. Such a simple thing, making the White House a Blue House for one day. I know you can get it done Mr. President. I know you can.

  83. Please Mr. President — I ask in honor of my 5 year old grandson. Because he is non-verbal he cannot ask himself.

    Thank you Jess — for your beautiful words. You never fail to touch my heart.

    Deb

  84. worth the wait, as always. there’s power in words and there’s a future to fight for. thank you. looking forward to to President Obama’s response.

  85. Yes. Please, Mr. President.

  86. Thank you on behalf of my Kate. Love you Jess!

  87. Thank you, Jess. Your letter brought tears to my eyes as I thought of my 8 year old Alec and the strength and courage with which he faces each new day despite how hard it can be just to do the things most of us take for granted. Please, Mr. President, send Alec a message that you stand with him by lighting it up blue.

  88. Please, Mr. President. For all of us…

  89. Light It Blue!! Thank you!

  90. As always Jess, right on with your letter. Please hear us Mr. Obama…we are a force to be reckoned with, families who deal with autism everyday of our lives and we are right here in this country. Please light the White House up blue!!

  91. I am the mother of two beautiful children on the autism spectrum. Jess, this is an amazing letter! I hope the White House listens!

  92. Yes. Blue, please.

  93. Bravo Jess! Beautifully written and as a parent of an amazing 7 year old on the Spectrum, I agree with everything. Mr. President, I emplore you, on behalf of all of our children, to consider this request. It can and will make a difference!

  94. Dear President Obama,
    I have been a huge supporter of you, and your efforts. I respectfully ask that you change your light bulbs to blue for World Autism Awareness Day. That small act can have a profound impact on people’s awareness of this epidemic.

    BTW- Jess-As always, your writing moves me.

  95. Thank you for always writing the words I want to say. I have a daughter with autism and a son on the verge of being diagnosed at 2 and I am urging my community to Light It Up Blue as well and will continue to fight for my kids and all the other 1 in 110. I hope the White House listens! Thanks again.

  96. Such a powerful question to ask someone “what wouldn’t you do”? Hopefully he answers that question by taking one small step in awareness by lighting the White House Blue – such a small task to help so many – I hope your listening Mr. President!!

  97. I love you Jess, for SO many reasons.

  98. 1 in 110 children are born with Autism. Two of them are mine. Jess, again…..you’ve put a voice to my thoughts! Mr. President, I sincerely hope you read this letter and the blog “Diary of a Mom” along with so many other blogs out there that have become a support group for so many of us. Please, light it up blue for our children and the families that love them!

  99. A letter from the heart and posts from many more hearts. Autism,is not just a affliction, but one with many varying degrees, from severe to mild.These beautiful children, are very intelligent,but that preferr to stay in thier own world. void at times of most emotions.. it is hard for them to reach out to us, but we must reach out to them, enter thier world on their terms. Things we take for granted such as laughter, tears,smiles. a hug are difficult for them because they donot understand it but in thier beautiful hearts want it and can learn it. Autism is becoming a giant that needs to be conquer and I salute all parents and greandparents who understand and live day to day with it. It takes courage and work every minute of the day, to learn to funtion on thier level. Most of all the parents and family have thier love for this child. Mr. Presiden, follow through and help us to find the answers. from a grandmother

  100. Mr. President, this letter speaks for so many families across our great country (and our world). Please truly hear the words and passion and love in this letter. And, please please light it up blue. Such a simple act will mean so much to so many.
    Thank you.

  101. B = Blue

    L = Light

    U = Unites

    E = Everyone

    In a world where it is not always simple to determine what needs to be done, this is an action item with singular clarity, focus and urgency. Mr. President, please join us in lighting our nation’s homes blue for World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2011. Thank you.

  102. President Obama,

    Thank you for reading this letter which speaks so eloquently for those of us with children on the spectrum. Light it up blue andthen please let’s have a national conversation about what we can do to support families for whom autism is not just a one day a year issue.

  103. Jess
    You are so fabulous and thank you for speaking on behalf of all our children. Mr. President our children are our future and are so worth it, please hear our words.
    Thank you,
    Cindy (a parent of a beautiful 7year old boy)

  104. Light it up blue Mr. President!

  105. Dear Barack,

    I know Jess called you “Mr. President,” probably because she has a touch more class than me. The thing is, though, I feel like you and I have been through a lot together – the campaigning, the election, the midterm election… well, you know – enough so that we can be on a first name basis.

    So, Barack, here’s the thing. I know there’s a lot that you want to do – that you REALLY want to do – that you haven’t been able to do. But I think this is something that you CAN do. And it’s something that matters.

    It’s symbolic, yes. But I have a hunch that NOBODY understands the transformative power of symbolism as well as you.

    Please light it up blue on April 2. And then, let’s get to work on 2012.

    All the best,

    MOM-NOS

    • It’s the night before & it is certainly starting to look as though this is just not going to happen. I’m trying not to be angry. In some ways I’m wishing I had not mentioned anything to my 19 year old about The White House. Then I could have saved her the disappointment [& myself also.] Really; there is no good excuse. Maybe next year? Robin

  106. President Obama,
    I am the mother of two daughters with autism. This letter so beautifully sums up what so many parents of children with autism feel. I hope you will read it carefully and understand its passion and urgency. It would mean the world to my girls and me if you would light the White House blue in recognition of World Autism Awareness Day.
    Thank you

  107. Dear Mr. President,

    This special group of individuals are not invisible. They are the present and future of this great nation. You have been a pioneer since your election, please pioneer this united conversation. It’s only a light bulb. Start a conversation for our future.

    Sincerely,
    Stephanie
    (mother of a 10 year old son with autism)

  108. Dear Mr. President,
    I would like to ask you, because my beautiful non verbal son cannot, to please light the White House blue for World Autism Awareness Day. It is so very important for the children with autism and their families to know that you support us. It is even more important for those not immediately connected to the world of autism to witness you acknowledging our struggle and advocating for awareness. We would be so grateful.
    Sincerely,
    Liz (Mom of four…one with severe autism)

  109. My 7 year old aspie daughter said to me yesterday “Can I stay home today? School is so HARD.” It is not academics to which she was referring. It is the social struggle which accompanies her everywhere, every day.

    Don’t our children deserve as much effort from us? From their government? Every day?

    Thank you, Jess, for your eloquence.

  110. Thank you, Jess. You speak for my family as well. We could use a little blue light of hope in our house…I am terrified for the future of these kids. Time is not on our side. We need your help, Mr. President.

  111. Mr. President – I recently found the blog written by Jess. After 14 years of trying to help my son with autism I am just now finding support through the autism community. 14 years. Please participate and light up the white house blue. Surely if you can turn the fountain green for St. Patrick’s day you can support this worthy cause. Jess is the voice for so many of us – please listen and offer your support and your help.

  112. [...] Click Here for Light The White House Blue [...]

  113. Mr. President,

    As Jess says, when we light our porch blue, we can spark 10 – 15 conversations…but you can help us spark the conversation with hundreds of thousands of people at once. Please help us help our little girl.

  114. Thank you Jess for a well written heartfelt look into our struggle. To YOU Mr. President, your one act of a blue lit white house will provoke far more benefit (awareness) than the cost or effort. Please honor this small request which carries large benefit.

  115. Dear President Obama,
    I remember being deeply moved by so many things you’ve said during your campaign and during your presidency. One of them – perhaps in your inaugual address – was to the effect that whether one voted for you or not, you will be everyone’s president. Please remember to include those with autism in your “everyone”.
    Thank you.
    Respectfully,
    Cheryl Shah

  116. As the parent of a beautiful, charming, and loving 2 year old little girl that recieved an Autism diagnosis just a week ago today (03/10/11)- it would be amazing and inspiring to know that my baby has support from a national level. I want to talk about this, I want people to ask questions, I want to tell tham about my little girl, Anna.

    • GOOD FOR YOU!!! Early intervention is key, my daughter was 2 1/2 and we’ve come so far at 6 years old now. Keep the faith, love with all your heart and NEVER EVER give up momma!!! You are her voice, you are her safety, you are everything she needs to make it!

  117. Jess’s words are so true for so many. The conversation needs to get faster, louder and more wide spread for our country to thrive when all of these kids become adult citizens. This is a powerful way to facilitate this…President Obama, please Light It Up Blue!

  118. [...] My Dear Friend, Jess, wrote a letter to President Obama   [...]

  119. Please Mr. President,

    For my TWO daughters (4years and 21 months) and our exhausted and overwhelmed family.

  120. Mr. President,

    I’ll be changing my porch lights blue and asking the owner of the restaurant where I work to do the same. If I can do it, you can do it. I know you’re busy, but this is important.

  121. You speak for all of us- you go girl!

  122. Mr. President,

    I look at your beautiful girls and think, how poised and well behaved, smart and confident they are. I then imagine my two sons who are smart, but are on the autism spectrum. I imagine them living in the White House having tantrums -not a pretty picture.
    I want to live in a world that knows and understands them. I want them to have a quality education and all the preventive measures and therapies that will allow them to go out into the world be successful, independent and make a positive contribution to society.

    Kiss the girls for me Mr. President. Light it up Blue and help fight for our children.

    Blessings, God’s love and protection to you and your family.

    Karen Weaver, Mom of two African American Boys with Aspergers

  123. Mr. President,

    My beautiful, incredible, love of my life, son has autism. If you do nothing else in your 4 years, please help him and so many else like him by brining awareness of autism, as you said you would. Please keep that promise if you keep no others.

    Cherie Smith, Parkville Missouri

  124. for my nephew, Weller. please.

  125. Let’s light it up Mr. President….we know you know how to do it….
    Jess, thank you. Really well written (as always) :)

  126. Many thanks for this, Jess.

  127. Please light it up blue Mr. President! For my precious daughter with autism…and our family.

  128. Beautifully said Jess, I have 7 children, 2 of them,have autism, both boys(Zachary 16 and Jaden will be 9 on Apil 2nd ) The day we all light up BLUE. Thank you from the bottom of my tired heart. Your letter was perfectly said.
    Dear Mr.President, I am the exhausted and overwhelmed mother of 7 children,all still living at home. Two of them,have Autism(both boys}

    • Our family needs your help,your support,and your understanding of our daily struggles.. The letter Jess wrote to you,is from my family as well. Please light up the white house (your house) BLUE on April 2nd.
      Thank you from the bottom of my tired heart.

  129. While my sons are part of the 109, I have nephew who is the “1″. I’ve witnessed his mother’s struggles to get the services he needs and her battle for understanding – even with those closest to her. Please help continue the conversation!

  130. Beautiful Jess. Thank you.

  131. Jess, this is so powerful, you have a way with words like no other. Thank you for giving such a voice to those of us fighting for our kids every day. Mr. President, please won’t you light it up blue?

  132. President Obama……Lighting the White House Blue on April 2nd is only a symbol. Yet, it will be a Beacon of Hope to we Kids & Parents who so need that right now. For we; who’s’ lives revolve around Autism, it will demonstrate to the world your solidarity and empathy for our ranks. Thank-You Mr. President. I pray that within your pressing schedule; You see the Importance of this symbol and make it your personal business to help. Please do not let us down ! Jess speaks volumes for all of us !

  133. When he did that speech in 2008 I was newly (very newly) pregnant with my twins. In fact, we didn’t even know there were twins, we just found out there was one just days before. I do remember the speech though. Autism has always been this mystical “thing” that we had hoped would never affect us. But it does. A week before Christmas 2010 we found out both boy boys had tested on the spectrum. Is it devastating? No. Does it feel like life was just ripped from our hands? Some days, yes.

    Come on Mr. President, light it up in BLUE for my boys in Minnesota.

  134. Light it for my nephew Matt. Great job Jess, this is going to happen!! Congrats and keep it up… Thanks!

  135. Mr. President: Please see this..our children NEED to be recognized and celebrated! My son Eli needs to be recognized! Someday all these children will be adults..how will our world adapt to the coming changes in world population?
    Light your house blue. Please. Let the world know you care.
    Megan Jobes

  136. Please President Obama, Show your support for autism awareness day I have a nine year old son with autism and would like to see your support by llighting the White House blue on April 2nd

    Thank you

    David LaVerne

  137. Thank you!

  138. Well said! I have 2 on the spectrum and I pray for more research, funding, understanding…
    Light it up!

  139. Well done!

    Mr. President,
    I too will light my house and several of those of my neighbors blue. I hope that in all the day to day bussel at least one person notices and asks why. I hope that you and those at the White House will do the same for my son and all of the sons and daughters on this spectrum. Such small effort for such a great cause.

  140. Yes Mr President why don’t u light your house blue? T hat conversation would be a start for sure.

  141. What a beautiful letter! I hope that it reaches the right hands and we can get the White House turned blue for this one important day.

  142. Well said!!! We can only hope that the President will even see this & pay attention to it… & others as well. My daughter has Non-verbal Learning disorder, which is very close to Asperger’s & is considered to fall under the Autism Spectrum “blanket”. Unfortunately, this is a pretty new diagnosis, & many don’t know much about it, & I myself am having trouble even finding information about it to be able to do what I can to help my daughter through her school years & beyond. She’s only 7, almost 8 & I have a son who has ADHD. I have my hands full, but I loe them both dearly =)

  143. Jess this was very elegantly written, and as a mother of a child with Autism I would like to say thank you. Are children need all the advocates they can get, I hope he lights the white house blue.

  144. If the president will do this it would send a huge message to the country about autism. It may change a little of my opinion about Obama as well if he does this. He has children. If those children had autism he wouldn’t hesitate. So I hope we see the white house blue on April 2nd!

  145. Please put more funding towards autism! My son was just diagnosed on the spectrum and our ins. Doesn’t cover his therapy. More funding would help so many children and families!

    • I forgot to add that my husband is a reservist and was active duty for 7 years, we use the military ins but because my husband is not active duty they will not cover his therapy! Please make more programs so more families and children can get the help they need! Early intervention and therapy is important! Light it up Blue!!!!!!

      • Kara – there are many of us working on this issue across the country! Get in touch with your US Legislators! Contact me if you would like more information. I can give you the appropriate info to pass along to your legislators.
        Keep the faith, Mama… there has already been bills written on this issue for Reservists… but we need more support behind them.
        God Bless you and your husband for your service to our country!

  146. My son is multiply disabled, including autism. On inauguration day, he sat with me as I watched all the ceremonies and fanfare, my heart filled with the light of hope The light you kindled for so many Americans. My son, who never really showed any interest in TV before, gravitated toward the screen every time your face appeared. He was transfixed. I like to think he was picking up on the overwhelming feeling of hope resonating throughout our home and our country.

    Today, hope is waning as we watch and listen to so many who would balance the budget on the backs of some of our most vulnerable citizens. So many who would even joking talk about shipping them off to Siberia to let them die off.

    Mr. President, we need awareness, yes. Desperately. But even more than that, we need HOPE. Your decision to light the White House blue on April 2nd would be so much more than a symbol of awareness about autism. It would be a symbol of hope for America’s most vulnerable —so many, like my son, without a voice —a sign that someone cares enough to take a stand for them and mean it. Please, please be that person we believed in so fervently. That beacon of hope who rallied a disheartened nation with cries of “Yes, we can!”

    It’s not too late, Mr. President, to rekindle the hope which carried you into that home on Pennsylvania Avenue. You can do it. Yes, you can.

    • Niksmom….that is EXACTLY how I feel.Thoughts for you & your son tonight. Robin [at least we all have each other!]

  147. Bring on the blue, Mr. President! nothing would make me feel more connected to my country, than to see it fight for our children. – Heather & Scott (Newton, MA)

  148. I loved reading your letter Jess. I can only hope and pray the President reads it and actually does something about it. But….I am not very optimistic about it. Already because of Obama Care, my sons services have been cut and we have been given the warning that they will be cut again before the end of this year. My son is receiving Wrap Around services and without them he would not be able to function in school without alot of redirection from the teacher. This is something she has already said she can not do. Our daughter is 17 months old and already shows signs of having Autism as well. We don’t even know if we will be able to get services for her or not. I can only hope and pray that the Government opens their eyes and starts to see that without their help, our children, the children of the future will be in a serious world of hurt unless they start helping again. God Bless you and your family.

  149. I am Nonny to three wonderful children, soon to be four. My four year old granddaughter,an amazing little girl,is autistic. My daughter is extremely blessed to live in an area that has wonderful programs and people working for them. My granddaughter has been receiving therapy since she was 10 months old and is in a school district that rises to the challenge of her needs. This needs to be the norm and not an exception. Please help support awareness and lead the way to make this happen.
    Jess,
    Thank you for speaking so powerfully for all of us who love and fight for our children and grandchildren’s needs.

  150. Our kids NEED help and support, Mr President. 1% of our children have autism. LISTEN TO US!

  151. Dear President Obama: On behalf of my son Spencer, and all of the other people on the Autism Spectrum, please light the White House blue! It is now estimated that 1 out of 110 babies born today will be on the Autism Spectrum. Awareness is crucial in order to help all of these beautiful people!!! Respectfully submitted, Mom of 5 year old Spencer, who was adopted at birth:)

  152. Dear President Obama,
    I hope that you will read this letter and that it will touch your heart as much as it did mine. I hope that you will listen and stand in support. I look forward to seeing the White House bathed in blue light!

  153. As usual Jess, exquisitely written. And BTW Mr. President, two Saturdays from now, I’ll be looking for that blue (and I vote!).

  154. Mr. President

    1 in 110? I would bet odds that if one of your daughters had autism, you wouldn’t hesitate in lighting the White House blue on April 2nd since it would be a cause near and dear to your heart. My beautiful 4 year old granddaughter has autism. This is near and dear to my heart. As the president of our great country, please support this cause in lighting your house blue on April 2nd

  155. Dear Jess…I can sympathize w/each & every word you are directing to our president that indicates by words that he is concerned…actions speak louder then words…& we must as a community of concerned parents express our feelings regarding the long term care of our children…My Daughter is 20 yrs of age & she has been abandoned by every1 on my side & her fathers side of the family…to say that i’ve been abandoned is minimal in comparison to the hurt i feel within, which has expressed outwards to the resentment i have endured in place of how i will not allow my daughter to feel my pain…i have to say that if not for women involved in ASD issues, i do not believe we would not have made as much progress…you are a hero to us, our children, our population & any1 & every1 affected by this neurological disorder, which is being disguised by the government…Mr. Obama, since you grow great concern regarding bullying, what do you think our children have to feel at the hands of ppl that do not/will not understand the condition & the helpful solutions to allow them more functionable time…don’t hide away letters & responses, find it in your time as president to address every single 1 of our letters & if you cannot, use congress to read & realize that this is just as serious as bullying, ss/medicare, healthcare, defense, etc…..Much success to you Jess & TY for making us aware, for our lives are so consumed in being able to care for our children & our own stresses that we need many more ppl like you…Sincerely, Valentina D. Salazar

    • So well said Valentina. My daughter, Molli was diagnosed at 2 yrs. old, & she is presently turning 19. At the time I was told that the occurrence was 1 in 10,000 children. It seems that somehow you & I have become the veterans. Our journey has been almost all uphill, & we have yet a whole lot of climbing ahead of us yet to do. Good thoughts 4 tonight [April 1st]. We would make good allies. Robin

  156. As the mom of a 4 year old autistic and hard of hearing child…thanks. you put into words what I wanted to say, and couldn’t find the way to express.

  157. I have a 12 year old son who has AUTISM and he is none verbal. please light up the White House BLUE and help us out!!!

  158. Mr. President: Please light up the White House BLUE for my son 21 living with Asperger’s in CT on April 2nd. Jess wonderful job!!

  159. Go Jess!

    I am with you on this mission! I would love to have you as a guest on my radio show, “Everyday Autism Miracles” http://www.toginet.com/shows/everydayautismmiracles please contact me at shannon@everydayautismmiracles.com
    Let’s spread your message and get that White House Blue!

    Shannon

  160. Exactly! PLEASE light it up blue!

  161. Mr. President,

    My ten year old son has Asperger’s, a high functioning level of autism. As I prepare to go to Parent Teacher Conferences today I cannot help but to feel inadequate as a mother. You see, not every one understands autistic children, not every one understands their thoughts and emotions, and not every one understands what it is like to be the parent of an autistic child. Not every one understands. I love my child with all of my heart, but even he does not understand why our nation treats him differently. At ten, he can see that he is different and not all people will accept him for what he is, a ten year old boy. So, I ask you and beg of you, help our world understand Autism, light your home blue, wear blue, and help us educate others until we are all blue in the face. I love my son too much to quit and I pray that you will not quit in your support of our children either. Thank you and God bless.

  162. Hello Jess,
    totally moved by your letter to President Obama,your letter says all the things i feel too.

    I live in Scotland (Edinburgh) there’s not enough autism awareness! everyday can be a battle with society!

    my son is autistic 7yr old and never spoken a word,he cant communicate yet but i try everyday to make sure he is well loved and well looked after, he goes to a fantastic special needs school but there just isn’t enough resources or awareness x

  163. I will be 42 on March, 27, and I have Asperger’s syndrome. For EVERYONE suffering from an Autism spectrum disorder, light the White House blue on April, 2.

  164. Just found out my niece’s little boy has autism. Trying to get my little grandson checked for it. I hope and stand behind you to have the White House turn blue.

  165. Thank you for writing this, I have a 6 year old brother with Autism. You inspired me today! If we want things to change we have to speak up and stand strong so that we can be a good example. I hope the president gets this letter and is touched like I was. LIGHT IT UP BLUE!

  166. My 6 year old son has autism and is slowly getting better. Days are tough and sometimes you feel alone while others stare and dont understand what your going through. My son isnt bad. Awareness would help me help him. Please light it up blue

  167. Jess thanks so much for including the rest of us with autistic children in your letter to the president, it so pefectly written that I cried because I felt like it was me writting it on behalf of my 5 yr old twin boys.
    God bless!
    Jan medina-meyer, leavenworth, KS
    Air Force First Sergeant

  168. Amazingly written!!! Thank you!!!!!! I fight everyday for my son, whether its a small battle or a huge battle. IMAGINE how much easier each day would be for our children if we just had MORE AWARENESS! Thank you for writing down the words that have been written on my heart. You sound like an amazing mom:)

  169. On the behalf of the Johlitz family in Baltimore, MD and in honor of our son Collin, THANK YOU!! People like you will make this world a better place

  170. Jess…Your words are beyond wonderfully written….they reflect the hearts of parents worldwide that are blessed with an child with autism. Thank you for being a voice and a leader…

    Mr President,

    Jess couldn’t have said it better…we need your help. Please light the White House in blue and show America that supporting autism research, insurance reform, and the needs of families across our great nation effected by autism is of VALUE.

    Thank you-
    Missy Zobrist

  171. Every word was like you picked it straight from my head! Spoken from the heart of someone who truely understands the day to day challenges faced by families of ASD kids. My 5 year old son is profoundly autistic. He deserves SO much more than a blue light bulb President Obama. Make this ONLY the first step you take in a long line of action to promote awareness, programs,and funds: to those touched by this devastating disorder. Thank You to all promoting awareness,understanding,and hopefully someday more; to the fight against autism.

  172. I have a five year old daughter with severe Autism. She is the reason for my everything and the sun in my day. My little girl has shown me what it means to truly love and she has shown me how to see through different eyes and to see the world as it truly is. My daughter struggles with everyday life and with communication. I help her to my fullest capabilities and I do worry for her when i am no longer here to take care of her. Education about Autism is a much needed conquest for this nation. To understand what is different will open Americas eyes to understanding itself and the nation in which it is evolving to. I hope to see those blue lights shine brightly on the White House on April 2nd. It will let the mothers and fathers and families of Autism know that they are being heard and it will open others eyes as to making them aware that Autism is a needed awareness. Education is the key and the only person that can really put Autism into the spot light by showing your support is you Mr. President. Thank you……..Mother of Sweet Autistic Daughter

  173. What an awesome and heartfelt letter! My son is 9 years old and has moderate autism, and i’ve been worried about what is going to become of him after my husband and I pass on, we don’t have family that cares enough that would take him on. Mr. President, what is going to happen to our children??? Your going to have these generation of kids with no one to care for them. I would never wish autism on anyone, but no one is immune to this, Mr. President your grandchildren could have this or their grandchildren and by that time the number could be smaller than 1 in 110. What is going to become of all these kids once their parents have passed on??? We need to think of the future now!!! Please help these kids with research and treatment!

  174. I loved your letter, I am raising my grandson who has autism, he’s 9. I have gotten my neighbors & friends to pledge to Light It Up Blue! You are right tho, if the White House is lit up blue, imagine how much awareness that would be! I hope he listens to our wishes.

  175. Jess,
    Wow…your words are so drenched with emotion. These powerful words are sure to make a difference, we need more voices like yours to be spreading the word and raising awareness for autism. I do not have any children myself but I have worked with children for six years and currently work at a daycare for children with special needs. I see many children with autism and each one brightens my day through their newest achievements or simply being who they are. Autism awareness is the newest of my passions. May I print this posting off and display it on my dorm bulletin board? I am doing the April bulletin board and it is all about autism awareness and I think allowing others to read words from a mother that are dripping with emotion will really allow them a glance into why this is a passion of mine and why they should take note of autism. Thank you for sharing your words, I am truly touched.

  176. The letter is very well said! The entire World needs to be taught more Awareness! Light up the World Blue on April 2nd.

  177. I’m not closely affeted by autism as most on this blog, BUT I do agree that there needs to be more of an awareness about it. I’ve worked as a paraprofessional in an elementary school in 2 different autism only classrooms. Very eye opening, and I commend those parents with children that are autistic. Now I work for a therapy company, that I also see everyday just how many kids have the diagnosis of Autism and just how many people this affects. Like you said, you’re asking for a lot and you know it can’t be done in one day, but to just get it started with this day would be amazing. Then move forward from there and CHANGE things, make it better for those affected by this. LIGHT IT UP BLUE! God Bless

  178. Beautifully written! I am a mother of 3, one being autistic. Show your support. Lets all light it up blue. Its not going to go away on its, we need to stand together.

  179. Thanks for writing this. Our son is four, and we do all we can for him. He was diagnosed at three years of age. He will be five next week. I hope the President hears this and really responds with a dicisive action and a real means of funding the programs and not just enacting empty unfinanced laws that promise to help but fall short and are late in coming. As we know, early intervention is key in Autism, and so many of us struggle to afford the copays even if our insurance does happen to pay for therapies needed. We amass huge bills and have a hard time making it on my husbands salary alone. It is hard to think my son will grow up one day and who will make sure he is where he is supposed to be and well and cared for? Thank you for writing this. It means so much to all of us! You are a courageous mom!!!

  180. I will be lighting my porch blue in honor of my 12 year old autistic son. Hopefully the White House will do the same.

  181. Well said, Jess. Thank you so much.

  182. Dearest Mr.President

    I can’t express to you enough the importance of the awareness of autism. My 10 year old was diagnosed @ the age of 4. I don’t have the luxury of paying for social therapy although he is receiving it through the school district twice a month. It’s not enough. The public needs to be aware that these children are different but deserve to be treated with patience and understanding. It truly infuriates me as a parent when my child becomes over-stimulated in a public place and goes into meltdown mode and all these horrible stares I get from ignorant people..(ignorant to the reality of autism and it’s effects). Please light it blue..I’m begging you for all of us that deal with this on a daily basis>>>thanks

  183. What a wonderful heart felt letter, I felt tears rolling down my cheeks as I read it. I felt like you were inside my head. I was blessed with a wonderful little boy we call Jaderbug, Jayden was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4. I thank you and my little Jaderbug thanks you as well. My hope is to get the word out and maybe all of America can light their homes blue in support of World Autism Awareness Day.

  184. Our goal for our son is to be able to function ” independently” but also be accepted for the wonderful person he is. He’s such a beautiful child~ really. Please -raise awareness and show your support for all the families around the world.

    Light The Whitehouse Blue on April 2nd

  185. That Was A Good Letter! I’m Touched By Your Words. I’m Lighting Up Blue For My 4 Yr Old Son Dawson. He Is My World And My Light. May Our Lights Shine Bright!

  186. Well said, very impressive. You have expressed the feelings of many parents living with a child on the autistic spectrum. Thank you for your avocation. Please light the white house blue for autism awareness!

  187. Beautifully written, as always! Thank you for including all other families struggling with autism everyday. My son is now 9 and was diagnosed with ASD when he was 2. It has been quite a roller-coaster ride with him, but I wouldn’t change him for anything. He is so kind and caring; truly a blessing in our lives. He finally began talking about 3 years ago, and we can rarely get him to be quiet; he even talks in his sleep, when he sleeps, which is pretty rare also. Of course all he talks about is the weather. He wants to be a meteorologist when he grows up! My 16 year old daughter loves her brother, but she still struggles with embarrassment and does not typically invite friends over to our house because she doesn’t want to have to explain her brother to her friends. If there were greater awareness and acceptance, then maybe my daughter wouldn’t feel this way.

    My struggles with fighting for services for my son inspired me to go back to school as a means to help other families deal with the multitude of issues that can arise when raising a child with special needs. I will be completing my law degree in May 2012 and will be dedicating my career to fighting for families like mine.

    Please Mr. President, light the White House up Blue for autism awareness on April 2nd. Show your support for the many families who face this everyday. It costs nothing – but the impact you can make through this simple action is priceless!

    Sincerely,
    Katy Malouin
    Palmer, MA

  188. Mr President, the chances of your grandchildren being Autistic are growing every year- No one knows why this is happening to our beautiful children- but we have to all come together to help, accept
    and understand and support one another. We are all God’s children.
    Blue Light Please- show the world who we are as a Nation. Thank you.
    In honor of my beautiful Tyler.

  189. Dear Mr. President,

    I have watched two of my daughters admirably handle the struggles of getting the right help for their children with Autism. One daughter has a boy, now age nine, who was diagnosed at age three and the other daughter has a girl, age 4, who was diagnosed at a younger age. When my grandson was diagnosed the rate of children with Autism was 1 in 160; that was six years ago. Now it is 1 in 110, a drastic increase. For our active military, the very women and men who put their lives on the line for all of us, the number is 1 in 88. There is an unfolding crisis going on in our world that needs to be addressed in many ways. It is unbelievable to us, who hurt for all our children with Autism, that so many still don’t understand what it is and how demanding it is to cope with, while there are still so few public resources that effectively offer help and hope.

    You’re lighting up the White House in blue would be a great help in augmenting awareness of the Autism epidemic and maybe stimulating an attitude of understanding and compassion. Please, Mr. President, give us hope by this simple symbolic act.

    Very respectfully yours,

    Mary E. Leslie

    • This is my Mommy. God, I love her.

      Mr. President… GRANDPARENTS like my mother, Mary, are BEGGING for help, just as we struggle to help our children with autism.

      PLEASE… Light it Up Blue, Sir.

  190. Please Mr. President…let the world see the White House turn Blue.

  191. Mr. President please help these parents and their children. Thank You.

    • I love you, Cousin. Thank you for answering the plea for support.

  192. Your words are both eloquent and so very to the point. I think the President should read your letter into the congressional record for the world to see and think about.
    You give voice to so many who would be voiceless without people like you.
    I would suggest that through “Autism Speaks” you should get an audience with both our President and his wonderful wife, Michelle. I believe if she heard your words she would put her great intellect and energy toward this important message.
    You are truly one of a kind. I am proud to be your dad.

  193. So many people still do not understand the struggles that families face when a child has Autism….Thank you for this letter.

  194. Mr. President, I have an 8yr-old son with Autism. It would mean sooo much to he and I if you light up the whitehouse blue. More people will open their hearts and minds to help and understand what we families go through. Thank you Dawn

  195. Jess, Thank you for capturing so much of what we go through and feel so beautifully.
    Shivon

  196. Amen. In honor of my son, Kannon.
    Light it up blue…

    http://koautism.blogspot.com

  197. Dear Mr. President,

    Home is where the heart is. Home is where we are raising, loving, crying about, fighting for, hurting with, and encouraging our nation’s 750,000 children with Autism. Won’t you please light your home blue so we know where our Nation’s heart is on April 1st and 2nd? The heart in my home is a 3-year-old girl with Autism, named Ellie. For her, and all others like her, my home will be blue.

    Very truly,
    Kara M. Wilson

  198. Dear Mr. President,

    This topic hits near and dear to my heart. I have a 16 year old daughter and a 15 year old son who are on the spectrum. While they look like a normal teenager they are social inept, immature and 1 of them lives in the realm of a 9 year old.
    I am an in a unique position as I also work within the autistic community. In teaching I have learned and I am a better person because of the courage and strength that these children have shown me.

    Linda Poling

  199. Dear Mr. President,

    I vote. I even voted for you! Jess is right and she certainly speaks for me! Light it up Blue, wont you?

  200. At times, we feel so alone. It would be great to see the White House lit up in blue. The world will notice. It’s such an easy thing to do and will have an impact like no other symbol could create. I hope someone is listening. My house will be brightened with a blue light for our son and all of the children in the spectrum.

  201. [...] leave a comment —>HERE<— and tell President Obama to light it up [...]

  202. Thank you so much for being a voice for all of us parents of autistic kids.
    My girl and I will be participating in the run for San Diego Autism. It is one of the ways I can do something for her and for the children with Autism in San Diego. Thank you again. :)

  203. Dear President Obama,

    I have a child with severe autism. He struggles to be part of the wider community. My son cannot speak, cannot go to the movies, or a mall or sit in a restaurant for more than 10 minutes. Through the nature of this disease we are frequently isolated.
    It is so important for other Americans to know our children are here and need their understanding and support.

    Children like mine cannot come to the White House and take part in any events. Christian cannot tell his story to our Congresswomen, he cannot speak at IACC meetings, he cannot travel by plane or train yet. Lighting Up the WH blue would be the best way to acknowledge all those families struggling w/ severe ASD.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Katie Wright

  204. Thank you on behalf of myself & my son LJ. From our heart to yours, this was coming from our hearts as well…very well said.

  205. Jess,

    That is a very powerful statement. I can feel your love and passion for your daughter because I am a parent too, and a parent of a child with special challenges too. A beautiful, strong, talented boy who struggles to find his place in spite of his many talents, and who is a challenge to parent in spite of our love for him.

    I hope the President heeds your request.

    Sincerely,
    Patrick

  206. Mr. Obama, i have nephew with Autism and it means so much if you light up the White House Blue!! God Bless

  207. Mr President, as a grandparent of an autistic grandson I need your support. Help my daughter, and her family so Autism is understood and accepted.

    Won’t you light your home blue on April 2nd….I will.

  208. [...] This is My Autism Dear Mr. President, [...]

  209. Dear Mr President,
    I am a grandmother of a six year old grandson with Autism. He is the love of my life and I will do everything I can to help him. We need you to help us and HELP them. My grandson is sweet and he tries so hard to fit in. He only wants to be loved. We need your help for the resources needed to find a cure for Autism. It is to wide spread and to many children are falling between the cracks. If you do nothing else while you are President, please give monies to help the cause. Or at least Light Up the White House Blue for this Day. Thank you.
    Sincerely,
    Suann

  210. An excellent request! The fountain was green today for St. Patrick’s Day. The very least that can be done is lighting it blue on April 2nd.

  211. Mr. President,
    Please help our nation to become aware of Autism, what it is, what its not, who our children are, how they are so amazing and work so hard at things that come so easy to others, how beautiful and funny and awe inspiring our children are. Light it up Blue!
    I’m a single mom to 3 children, my 2 sons have autism… they are 10. I have a 7 yr old daughter. Every day is a struggle for my sons, every day I see my daughter love and adore her brothers, she helps to teach them, she encourages them, she laughs with them and she sees them for who they are, her brothers!

    Jess – thank you for this message to our President. And thank you for asking him the question, if your child had autism, “What wouldn’t you do?”… because that is what our life is – on my to do list – EVERYTHING! on my what wouldn’t I do list? NOTHING!
    I will be lighting it up blue at home and wearing blue, both on April 1 and April 2. (April 1 to help spread awareness during my work day, April 2 in honor of World Autism Awareness Day.
    Sincerely,
    Linda
    Mom to Nolan, Ethan and Nora

  212. Well said. So many families are touched by this. Light it up blue.

  213. Kids with autism are a large percentage of todays population, I’ve had the fortune to see two amazing kids with Autism growing up and got to meet many more.
    Almost every kid with autism excels in areas that range from Mathematical ability to visual arts or music, they see things in a different way and bring a fresh and new perspective to every thing they approach.
    With the right guidance and educational resources they can learn how to profit from their special skills and become an asset instead of a burden.
    I think it’s time to stop thinking on how society is going to deal with them and star thinking on how to put resources into place so they become a “profitable and valuable asset” instead.

  214. Jess,
    The day I met you, I had no idea the impact you would have. I have no children of my own. What I do have is 120 students that enter my classroom every day. Prior to meeting you and reading Diary of a Mom, I knew very little about autism. Your writing and your story have encouraged me to do something different with my life. As I head back to school to study special education, and as my life travels in a different direction, I know it is due to meeting you and Matt. I pray that President Obama hears this message you have written and takes a stand to do the right thing. Thank you, Jess.

    Sincerely,
    Annie

  215. Jess,
    Your letter was not only touching but also valid and true. I worry everyday about how my child will be cared for without me and furthermore when i am gone or no longer able. This is a phenomenal idea that i hope and pray will spark a long needed conversation about this disorder. It is growing at such an alarming rate with what seems to be no end in sight.I pray that the president will hear us today and take this small step which will only lead to greater strides.

  216. Mr. President,

    Our children desperately NEED your help. We all hope you read this and try and understand our plea!!

  217. Well said, Jess.

    Hope to see blue on Pennsylvania Avenue ….

  218. Please, one of the 110 is mine. Please hear us.

  219. Mr. President,

    In honor of your two healthy children, please light of The White House blue to recognize and honor the many children who deal with Autism everyday. I am a parent of a 7 year old boy, Daniel. He is the joy of my life. I do all I can for him. This includes standing up and fighting. Sometimes it has to be done just to get the help my son needs and deserves. There are so many worthy causes & so many that need help, but unfortunately for my child he can not do this for himself. I am proud to stand up for him and beside him. I will take on all the stares and judgements on myself and my child by people who know no better. I will continue to educate those who want to know or misunderstand. I will help other families on this long unending journey. I work to improve heath care, safety, education, and services for my child. I do all this simply because I am Daniel’s mom. I don’t do this because I am a parent of a child with Autism. I do it simply because it is my job as my son’s parent to do all I can for him. I honestly do believe that when I meet my Maker that the first question I will be asked is “did I do all I could to help my son?”. I am proud to say that I can stand and say yes. I may not have done it all perfectly, but I have done my best. I know I have left behind a few enemies, but that is okay. They would have done the same for their child. So it is with great respect, from one parent to the next, please stand beside us and light The White House Blue.

    Sincerely,

    Penny S. Salvato

  220. Mr. President,

    So many of us voted for you. So many of us feel that our autistic children are all but forgotten by you – our children are growing and the vast majority will need lifelong care. The wave is coming. Do the right thing. Please.

  221. ::::THIS IS MY AUTISM MR. PRESIDENT::::
    We are counting on you to help Light it up Blue, wont you?

  222. [...] Dear Mr. President, I need your help. Last year, on April 2, 2010, you issued a statement expressing your support of World Autism Awareness Day. I appreciate the fact that you did that. Your support is vital to our community. But I'll be honest with you, Mr. President. I didn't even see your statement until I really started digging around on the Internet last night. With all due respect, Sir, if I didn't see it, I'm guessing almost no one saw it. … Read More [...]

  223. please Mr. President. for my younger brother who fights everyday for himself. please light it up blue!

  224. Thanks for the tremendous letter, Jess. I had not heard the President’s Comments on the support of Autism Day Awareness. I, Mr. President, am a relatively new parent of two beautiful adopted girls from the state of MI. I knew only a little about autism when I was unsuspectingly thrown headlong into the deep end of the world of autism as I discovered my newly adopted daughter had autism but at 9 years of age had yet to have anyone care to understand her, get her tested, diagnosed and the help she needed. Now we struggle to play catch-up from all those years of people not understanding, not knowing and not caring. Now, I care deeply. I like Jess worry about what will happen to my little girl as she transitions to adulthood and I am no longer here to help her through the maze of the world’s complexities. We struggle everyday and fight everyday for services that we are told there is no money for or she will not benefit from because she is older and not diagnosed when she was younger.

    Please, Mr. President, help start those conversations for my daughter and Jess’ daughter and all those other sons and daughters, including adults that struggle with all forms of autism in a mostly unforgiving, hostile world.

    My house and my clothes will be in blue of April 1 & 2, please join us in solidarity, Mr. President. It would do a world of good.

  225. [...] Dear Mr. President, I need your help. Last year, on April 2, 2010, you issued a statement expressing your support of World Autism Awareness Day. I appreciate the fact that you did that. Your support is vital to our community. But I'll be honest with you, Mr. President. I didn't even see your statement until I really started digging around on the Internet last night. With all due respect, Sir, if I didn't see it, I'm guessing almost no one saw it. … Read More [...]

  226. We want to see the White House in blue too!!! Put the Macukewicz Family down for “YES”!

  227. Mr. President, Jess and all those that these words reach,
    I am a special education teacher in Georgia, and I work with autistic students on a daily basis. I have been teaching for 30 years, and have felt the changing trends of the care and education of our disabled children. The equations don’t add up. More children with autism does not equal less funding and less services. I understand we are in an economic spiral, but as the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child.” We must ban together and make a difference for our children, and looking at the growing numbers of children on the spectrum, now is the time to step it up.

    Please Mr. President, burn those blue lights and demonstrate your support of caring for our children!

  228. I am a single mother of five. I have two children on the Autism spectrum scale. They are so very different, yet fight the same battles. PJ and Jacob you are stars in a square & circle shaped world. I pray the president listens.

  229. There is not a parent out there that wouldn’t fight for their child, but there’s no fighter, with a fierce fire in her gut, like a mother of a child with Autism.
    Our amazing baby girl was diagnosed at two and a half and as we passed her sixth birthday this year I sit in amazement at how far WE’VE come. I wouldn’t change her for anything in the world, but I would change the way the world sees her.
    We watched together the day you were sworn into office, she sat on my lap with her “Obama” shirt on and we prayed you would help us….please help us! We will light it up blue, will you?

  230. Thank you Jess for being our voice. You summed up our requests and concerns so well. Please let me join in as well.

    Tammy
    Mom of 5 year old Triplets with Autism

  231. Mr. President,
    If you can turn the foantain green for saint pattys day, Won’t you turn it blue on april 2nd for my son spencer who has autism.
    He can’t always find the words; won’t you speak out for him on this day?

  232. [...] note: There’s been a LOT of news in the last twenty-four hours surrounding my letter to the President asking him to light the White House blue on April 2nd in honor of World Autism Awareness Day. I was [...]

  233. Jess,
    God bless you and ALL you do!

    Mr. President,
    Can’t wait to see the White House lit up in BLUE! I KNOW you can make this happen!

    Thank you to both of you FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

    Trish

  234. Mr. President,
    I was in line at the store yesterday. The woman in front of me was complaining about somebody who she worked with. She said she doesn’t look her in the eye. She said she says hi and doesn’t know how to continue the conversation. She said she is weird. If you light the White House blue you will create more autism awareness. People will look at my son and instead of thinking he’s weird they will understand he has autism.
    Thank you,
    Mona

  235. Thank you!

  236. Thank you!

    That is the least I can say at this point. I was hooked on every word, hoping and praying he will understand and support all of us. There are so many who need support and understanding. This is a giant leap in the right direction.

    Teresa
    Mom to Ryan

  237. Imagine, Mr. President. With the girls you so love, can you imagine? I couldn’t have. When my son was born, he was our wonder. Utterly amazing. Little by little, we began to wonder…
    Now we know. He’s autistic. Do you know how long it’s taken me to tell co-workers. I get such a pitying look. Let’s change that. My son is still utterly amazing. Just so happens, he’s somewhat orignal also.
    A blue light. please.

  238. You spoke to my heart. I understand the challenges that face our children and it scares me to death. Your ability to verbalize it and bring it to a public forum is so special.

    If President Obama sees this, my request would be for the autism diagnosis to be accepted by my insurance company for speech therapy…at two sessions a week, the costs are mind boggling.

  239. Thank you for speaking the words inside so many of our hearts.

  240. I saw on the news yesterday that they dyed the water fountain in front of the White House green for St. Patrick’s Day. Right away, I thought, if they can do this, then they can dye the fountain blue for Autism Awareness Day and light the whole damn White House blue for that matter.

    I am praying that President Obama sits up and takes notice to your letter and our lives.

  241. Dear Jess,
    so so beautifully written!To make tomorrow better for our kids we have to start the fight now!!
    I will light my house blue! Mr.President will you ????
    love
    Ruchi

  242. Thank you for your voice. Thank you for grabbing this opportunity and going for it. I will Light It Up Blue, and hope the President will do the same.

    -Mom to Miles, the most amazing boy on earth who also happens to have autism

  243. Thank you as always Jess for being the voice of us all. I hope President Obama hears it and acts on it. It would be an amazing day for us all. One of my favorite lines: “This is blissfully apolitical. Autism is not partisan.” So very very true.

  244. Blue Light Please.

    • Blue Light Please. Thank You Very Much.

  245. It is amazing how many of us can identify with, not only the basis of the article, but every single word! I can’t even tell you how many hours of how many days I worry about what will happen to my son if I die while he is young. . . or even when he is older. Who will advocate for him, love him, comfort him, cherish him? I am seriously considering not only changing my porch lights to blue, but putting up blue Christmas lights all over my shrubs if just so that all the neighbors strike up a conversation about the crazy lady putting up Christmas lights in April and daring themselves to come talk to me about it. I am proud to introduce the world to my wonderful, special boy and to educate them about Autism.

  246. Jess, I am grateful to you for putting into words what so many of us struggle with daily. As the mom of two handsome young men on the spectrum and two other children fighting everyday to understand & help others see the good in their brothers, we need every bit of support possible.
    My oldest son is 16 and quickly becoming a man, a man who is expected to survive on his own in a community that doesn’t always have the right resources to help him. He wasn’t diagnosed until he was 11 because our military pediatricians didn’t have the training to recognize his disabilities. His teachers didn’t understand him and often were worse bullies to him than his peers. He missed out on therapies and assistant that may possibly have changed our whole world. I am lucky in that I followed my instincts and learned all I could on my own so I could teach him and help him function in our world.
    My children are amazing, as every child is, and I too would do anything to help them achieve their dreams.
    Thank you again Jess for marching ahead and sharing your dreams with us.
    ~Michelle

  247. Thank you, Jess, for your tireless efforts. I hope the President follows your suggestion.

  248. Please, Mr. President, shine the light blue on the White House for World Autism Awareness Day!

    Sure, my son, Tristan may LOVE acceptance and kindness, but for the health of my family and others we NEED to be able to live within our communities with out hatred, fear, or shame. We need laws and regulations to help us help all people living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Our hearts often are heavy for our children, the pain can be so unbearable for them and soul crushing for us. It takes a strength that isn’t often endured for lifetimes. By shining the light on April 2, 2011 we are taking a step toward freedom and peace for the 1 in 110 and their families.

    A Jess says, and I agree, we need the light to help “spark the conversation”.

    Please light the White House Blue on April 2, 2011

  249. dear MR.President please light up the white house blue to support my little brother.

    from T.J., 12 yrs old

  250. Jess,
    I to have an Autistic 12 year old daughter. Julianna is my life and there is nothing I would not do to ease her every day struggles with this disease. I to wish i could change the way people see our little angels. The common public looks at our children like a disease, not like a child with a disease. Our children did not ask to be like this,God has a purpose for our angels though we dont know what it is. Maybe it is to unite the world in understanding, love, and harmony again. I do strongly agree with you that we as mommy’s of these children have to carry out soap boxes with us where ever we go. If we get to explain
    autism to just one person, and that person tells another person and so on then there could be thousands of people with the knowledg they need about Autism. I think you speak for all of us parents in the world. keep on your soap box and please never give up and we will on our end as well. you are truely an inspiration…..

  251. Jess, thank you for your wonderful letter to the President. You hit all the right points.

    Mr. President: I am the mother of a 20-year old son with autism. He has fought all his life to “fit in” a society that does not have enough education and understanding of autism and the autism spectrum.

    My husband and I, as his parents, have struggled to educate the people around us in my small community so that they will have some understanding of my son and others like him.

    Mr. President, it has been a long and exhausting fight. And, my husband and I are not even close to being done. We are 50 years old and we are desperate to teach our son as much as he can learn and master so that he can be as independent as possible before we will no longer be able to guide him. Whether that will be when our health eventually fails us or we die, I do not know. This is our reality and my son’s reality and many, many more people’s reality.

    People need to know what autism is and how to deal with it.

    As Jess says in her letter, with you lighting up “blue”, at least the conversations will start.

    I’m lighting up blue, I hope that you will reconsider and do the same.

    You have no idea what this would mean to all of us out here struggling on a daily, minute-to-minute basis, year after year. You just do not know.

  252. Goosebumps! The power of the pen and the love in a mother and father’s heart. God bless.

  253. Dear President Obama – I wrote a letter to you last year asking you to light the White House fountains blue in honor of Autism Awareness Day 2011. You lit the fountains green for St. Patrick’s Day, which I think is the most ridiculous holiday of the year…celebrating drinking green beer! Please realize that my grandson and all others on the autism spectrum deserve more recognition than St. Patrick!!!! We need your help…the numbers of autism cases are rising…AUTISM AWARENESS IS NECESSARY. Thanks!

  254. Thank you for posting this, Jess. MR President please light the White House Blue. I am the mother of a 12 year old with autism. Since that first diagnosis I have been on a crusade to educate myself and others and to make sure my daughter and all children with autism can lead happy, productive and independant lives. We cannot give up, we must do this for our children! Wouldn’t you do it for your girls? PLease shine light on this. LIGHT UP THE WHITE HOUSE BLUE!!!!

  255. I have a nice with Autism. She is really smart and a cool kid. I urge you to use the “Bully Pulpit” to encourage private organizations to do the research. Let’s keep the government out of it.

  256. Dear Mr. President:

    I am the mother of a 7 year old daughter with autism. She is smart, funny and caring but also struggles every day to do things than others take for granted. Awareness is the first step in making people understand and accept her differences. Please light the White House blue so that we can use it as an opportunity to start conversations and educate people in our communities to value and appreciate our children as much as we do.

  257. Thanks, Jess, from Nicholas’ Mom. Light it up Blue, Mr. President…

  258. Dear Mr. President,

    My daughter is 9 years old. She is smart, talented, and funny. And she cannot make friends, or even process language to the extent that she can express her desire for friends. Every public event, every family event, every social event … is a struggle for my girl. This syndrome/disease/neurological disorder — whatever it is — has devastated our little girl.

    My husband and I have no idea what kind of future is in store for her. We don’t know if she’ll ever be able to live independently.

    Autism has strained our marriage, our finances, our familial relationships, our friendships, and even our health. My husband and I work so hard to make the world as accessible to our daughter as we can.

    On April 2nd, I will be hosting a fundraiser in my home for the Lucky Duck Foundation, Inc., a local foundation that provides scholarships for families with special needs to access specialized swim instruction and other needed therapies. My house will be lighted up blue, and my resources will be committed to helping families with kids like mine.

    Mr. President, please light up your house with blue lights on April 2nd. It is the least you can do.

    Thank you,
    Jennifer Goldszmidt
    Ellicott City, MD

  259. Dear Mr. President,
    I too am a parent of a sweet child who has been diagnosed with autism and feel that Jess’s words along with all the other countless parents responding to this plea, need your support and action to make autism understood. It is an everyday experience that when i tell someone of my child’s condition, they stare at me with a blank face and are clueless to the struggles we as a family face. Please help wake up the world to this fast growing epidemic by lighting the white house blue and help make it a commonly understood condition which we hope can also get an increase amount of funding and focus. Lets help erradicate this condition, one child at a time.
    thank you for listening, caring and DOING!
    Regards,
    Ruhina

  260. Dear Mr. President,
    I am a grandmother of a 6 yr. old autistic child who needs your help to alert everyone of this most complex condition called autism. We elected you to office because we believe in your abilities to make a difference in the world—WE KNOW YOU CAN–so please light up the white house blue for the sake of educating the world about AUTISM as WE KNOW YOU CAN–and I’ll do my part in educating the masses about autism and together I know in my heart that we can do this—YES WE CAN!

    all the best,
    Rehana

  261. Once again, I have been moved to tears. How can I not? I have two siblings with autism, a brother and a sister. Their problems are my problems, their anxieties and worries are my anxieties and worries, their struggles are my struggles. I have spent my whole life taking care of them and doing my best to help them fit comfortably into our world. I will continue to do that until the day I die, but I need help. We all do. It’s surprising at how many people don’t know a thing about autism. It will make my life’s work for them much easier if people understood. I mean really understood autism. But infinitely more important than that, is how my brother and sister would be treated if only people really understood autism. The difference that would make in their lives is more than I can express to you in words.

    Mr. President, we need this desperately. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles… Autism affects all of us. But most importantly, the family members WITH autism need this.

  262. What can I add to that but my support? Please, Mr President, consider Jess’ request a request from all of us who care about those struggling with autism. Which should be ALL OF US.

  263. 3 of our 4 children are on the spectrum, and as a pre-K teacher I am seeing far too many little ones now with challenging behavior that stems from unrecognized/unaccepted ASD. It breaks my heart to have parents so offended at the suggestion to explore this behavior (“my kid is NOT RETARDED!” being one of the better responses I’ve gotten this year). The lack of understanding is frightening, not just for my own very high-functioning children, but what about all these kids that never get intervention, that never are told “you are not damaged, you are not broken, you are YOU and YOU are WONDERFUL!” The kids being thrown in the reject-pile because they don’t fit the mold public schools have decided every student must fit, just so “They” can assess easier? A group of parents here and there cannot change this widespread ignorance. Yes, we are making changes in our little worlds, maybe just one person at a time, so we should never give up, but we need help. Mr. President, YOU can help! It doesn’t need to be a huge political deal. Just a few light bulbs. It’s almost silly, actually- how can that be a problem for you? Jess, your words come from so many hearts, I can’t believe you aren’t an angel. Thank you.

  264. Mr. President,

    A nation is awaiting your awareness to a silent illness that overwhelms familys. We need better support and early intervention, including serious research to combat this wave of autism in our nations familys. We have hope that this can be curtailed. Children are improving but the battle goes on. We need a cure! Please make this small gesture for hope REAL! We all need you. Don’t look away. Look directly at our children. These are the hopes to a better future!

  265. Dear Mr. Obama,

    Please listen to this wonderful and well written letter. Autism has touched the lives of many and deserves your attention.

    Thanks,
    Elle

    • Dear Mr. President Obama,
      First off, thank you carrying on with the difficult job that you have. I am a Patriot and believe in my President no matter what party or personality. Please hear the call of us with children of Autism. My grandson is 16 and lives with us and as he gets older I am so worried for his future. Lighting the White House blue on April 2 may not seem significant, but somehow to the growing numbers of the community of Autism it really is. It’s about uniting, something we are all looking for in these troubled times. Thank you so much for your attention. Sincerely, Mary Avila

  266. [...] you and any of your other fans, who I am sure are equally huge, would be willing to SIGN THIS LETTER and forward it to everyone you know, I will give each of you the biggest virtual hug ever known to [...]

  267. Please help us, President Obama. We need your support.

  268. Mr. President,

    My wife and I voted for you because you gave us hope. Hope in what we as individuals and a nation can be. Hope for our future. We’re asking you again to renew that hope. Please, Mr. President, Light it Up Blue for our son Connor!

  269. Dear President Obama,

    Please, Light the White house Blue for my daughter Alanis and all the other children around the country with Autism. “Light it up Blue” for Autism Awareness! God Bless you and your family!

  270. Just want to add my thanks to you, Jess, for your eloquence on behalf of our kids and families. And to add a personal request to my President to please Light It Up Blue on April 2.

  271. Dear Mr. President Obama,

    I am certain that you have a full plate, especially at this time in history. However, the children are the future. Does 1 in 110 children tell you something is terribly wrong? If something isn’t done then you may very well end up the grandfather of a child with Autism. When my first child was diagnosed with it the ratio was 1 in 2500…that was just 12 years ago. Sir, it is in the best interest of our society that more funding is made available to help with research and more tax cutes for parents of multiple children on the spectrum, so that we can provide and care for them in the here and now…. I know you will do the right thing….if you truly understand what this nation is facing….. let’s not wait for 1 in 10….
    Thanks and may you find the peace and the truth so that you may cope with the tribulations this nation and world now faces…. may you endure. I will be looking for the blue lights:)!

    All the best to you and your Family Mr. President.

  272. President Obama,
    Please help & support ALL these families that KNOW what it’s REALLY like to live & love an Autisic child! We have an “Aspie” in our family and she is incredible!
    Isn’t it time we have a government that is “of the people and for the people”?
    God Bless our children. Thank you for supporting them. Light up BLUE…shine it, wear it, dye your hair it, even eat it!! Do it for THEM!!

  273. Jess has eloquently captured both my feelings and the voices of the autism parent community in this heartfelt request to President Obama. As the mother of a beautiful 12 year old son with autism, it would be very meaningful and bring hope to me and my family to see the White House lit blue and know that our voices are being heard.

  274. Dear Mr. President,

    Please light the White House up blue to show support for all the families and children living with autism. My son is 7 years old and was diagnosed with autism at age 3. He struggles eveyday to overcome his disability.

    According to CDC reports, autism effects 1 in 110 children in the US. There has been a 600% increase in autism over the last 20 years. It is one of the fastest growing public health threats facing children today.

    Lighting up the White House blue for autism would send a tremendous message to the American public that our goverment cares and is behind families effected by autism.

    Thank you,

    Sarah
    mom to Taylor, age 7 dxed with autism

  275. Dear Mr. President-

    I have a 3.5 year old little boy with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and other challenges. We try to keep life as ‘normal’ as possible in our family or as normal as Autism allows. Because of this we don’t avoid taking our son to restaurants or other public places although he is almost always doing something considered odd by the general public. My little boy has no words but he is always making some sort of noise. I know this makes a lot of people uncomfortable and we often get get dirty looks or anxious stares. I think if people were more aware of Autism and the challenges it brings on a day to day, minute to minute basis they may be just a little bit more tolerant of my little boy who can’t defend himself or explain his actions. Please Mr. President, consider Jess’s request to light the White House Up Blue for Autism Awareness day and you just may turn one of those disapproving looks into a look of acceptance or of understanding.

    Autism is a growing problem in our nation. By lighting the White House Up Blue, you will prove your commitment to helping our nation put a stop to the exploding numbers of new children and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders on a daily basis and to helping families like ours who are already affected.

    Many thanks!

  276. Dear Mr. President,

    We need your support more than ever in this matter. This day will hopefully lead to questions and answers and have millions talking. We are not asking for much other than to light it up Blue. Don’t the numbers tell you something? They are growing more than ever. I currently teach an Autism unit and I have 10 students who live in a 5 mile radius of my school. Not to mention, 4 of them have a sibling with Autism. I hope this does tell you something if the numbers don’t. Lets not wait and please Light it Up BLUE on April 2nd. I know I will!

  277. Dear Mr. President –

    Please help us spread the word about Autism and make everyone aware about just how special these wonderful kids and adults are. I am blessed to have two very special people in my life who are autistic–a 3-year old niece who opens my eyes to new things every day, and a 19-year old sister who has taught me compassion and acceptance. I will be lighting my house blue and wearing blue on April 1 and 2 to show my support for them and for all others who have and are affected by Autism–please join us. No voice in this great nation is louder than yours. Thank you.

    Most respectfully,
    Jennifer Matsuoka

  278. Dear President Obama,
    We’ll all be BLUE if your House isn’t!

    Sincerely,
    The Harrington family

  279. Mr. President, please listen to the cries for help and awareness!! Our children need you! Thank you.
    Beth

  280. Why wouldn’t you, Mr. President?

  281. c’mon Mr. President.
    Light the house BLUE.
    Read this letter….and all of the comments….

    Light the house blue.

  282. Dear Mr. President,

    Lets make people aware. Light it up Blue on April 2nd. Lets change lives Mr. President!

  283. Thank you on behalf of Andy and Danny, my twin nephews with Autism.
    I beseech you, Mr. President, on behalf of those with autism, and the families who love them, please heed this e-mail. We remember your support of the Autism Walk in Chicago. Please, continue that support. It is the right thing to do.

  284. As always Jess, just beautifully written. If more people knew of the lack of support for people with differences like autism, perhaps they would open their hearts (and their pocketbooks) to support them. We’ll be “going blue” here in Colorado!

  285. Great idea! I think this is very important and would be wonderful to see happen!

    • Mr. President listen to this young lady. PLEASE

  286. Go Jessica Go! You were a strong woman in college and what a beautiful strong woman you are now. You have made the most of your soapbox! You go girl! Love the very old big sis – Laura Jean Hagg

  287. Excellent job! With voices like Jess advocating for our kids I have hope.

  288. Thank you, Jess, for being my voice. My sweet boy Reece thanks you too!!

  289. I like it, Jess. The Blue House would be awesome!

  290. My granddaughter has Autism and my heart breaks for her and her struggles. Please, Mr. President, on behalf of my beautiful little granddaughter and all children with Autism, please help!

    Gratefully,

    Carrie Land

  291. PLEASE MR. PRESIDENT LIGHT IT UP BLUE!! FOR MY TWIN BOYS THAT ARE BOTH AUTISTIC AND ALL THE OTHER CHILDREN. BLUE BLUE BLUE! THIS FAMILY OF SIX NEEDS YOUR HELP. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BLUE BLUE BLUE!

  292. [...] writes so eloquently in her directive to President Obama that to do it justice you need to read it (here), and if you have the time, any comments you leave on the site could possibly help further the [...]

  293. Mr. President,

    Please turn the White House to the Blue House in support of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2011.

  294. The country is filled with families struggling to help their loved ones with autism. We are not getting the support we need, and end up leaving our jobs to care for those who do not get theraputical services covered insurance nor targeted educational services that could help them function independently. The numbers are increasing dramatically every year.

    I know you care – show the country the importance of stopping this epidemic and caring for those already affected. Let’s get the rest of the country motivated so that Congress may also be motivated to support our children and adults struggling with autism.

    Light up the White House blue!!

  295. A beautifully written letter. Thank you so much for speaking for all of us. Mr. President, if this should ever land on your table, please join us in spreading awareness, acceptance,support, and understanding on this one day. My blue porch will not make the news, but yours will. Help us spread the word so that maybe more people will become aware of what autism really is. My son and my students will thank you someday.

  296. Just posted this on my FB page. Couldn’t agree more! Thanks for writing it!

    Sincerely,
    Elizabeth, Mom of 3 y/o triplets (2 with ASD)

  297. Mr. President

    Please heed the words of all these people and turn the White House Lights to BLUE on April 2, 2011. I too, am the parent of an amazing 8 year older with Aspergers Syndrome. These children are wonderful, loving, amazing and just want to be accepted for who they are. It’s time for the federal and state governments to take notice, to provide the funding necessary for these children to blossom and grow in every way they can. It is these children, who will become the future leaders, teachers, scientists, doctors and engineers of tomorrow. We must all stand behind them.

  298. We need to spand awareness. We need help, understanding, research, $$$, respect.

  299. Dear Mr. President,
    Autism awareness and funding are critical. My son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 and my sister has two children with autism. Please light it up blue…we are counting on you.

  300. Mr. President,

    It is such a simple request, to light up the White House Blue, yet it will affect so many in a such a positive way. Please, Just Do It!

  301. Mr. President,
    Please support World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2011 by turning the White House to the Blue House. Show your support for these amazing families who are working so hard to improve the present and the future for their children/grandchildren.

  302. Thank you Jess! I hope you’re listening, Mr. President. My son needs you.

  303. [...] expressing your support. We need as many voices as we can get from this community. Thank you! —> Click Here <— Leave a Comment LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  304. My nephew has autism and I have at least 4 friends with autism. These children need help, their parents need help, and they need it yesterday! Imagine your beautiful precious baby has something affecting their ability to enjoy even the simplest things in life, like a hug from their parents, BUT there is nothing that most doctors can give you or tell you to help.

    Please make something happen, get this train moving!

  305. Mr. President,
    Please light the White House blue in honor and support of the most loving, compassionate, honest, hardworking, and struggling American’s that exist. It would mean so much to so many families who work every minute of everyday to give our children the lives that so many take for granted. In a country where we are stared at, laughed at, and criticized for loving our children the best we know, you Mr. President can open your heart and give us the pat on the back that may help us stand a little straighter.

    My house will be blue on April 2nd to honor my son Evan and all the other kindred spirits who for this day will be honored for how special they really are. Please join us!

  306. Mr. President,
    As a father of a four year old boy who is non-verbal and autistic. I ask you to join with this group of wonderful people and help us to be the voice he doesn’t have.
    I plan on lighting it up blue on April 2nd, however I believe the question here is Do You?

    Joe Wiemann
    Brookings South Dakota

  307. Mr. President, I can’t think of a better show of solidarity than lighting the White House blue on April 2. As the mom of an 11-year-old boy with an autism spectrum disorder, I can attest to the feelings of loneliness, fear and despair that so many families traveling this bewildering, often frustrating, journey often feel. A blue White House would offer a beacon of hope for the millions who are are living in darkness so much of the time. Respectfully, Audra E.

  308. Dear Mr. President, I have two beautiful grandsons, both have autism.
    Why, is a question their parents are often asked, people give them advice or articles they have read, but they live it everyday, some days are harder than others. They are very good parents, but need the support of many to help them through, please help these children, young and older with insurance needs and programs that will support their daily needs and for their caregivers not to have to fight for the things that help these children learn and function everyday. My son is in the Coast Guard, so each time they move my daughter-in law worries about the schools and programs the community will offer for them. Please support this effort April 2nd to make others aware of what these children and parents struggle with each day and what we can do to support them as a society that cares.

  309. Mr. President~

    Light it up blue . . . it’s the LEAST you can do!!

    Thank you~

  310. beautifully written, you speak for so many of us.

  311. Dear Mr. President,
    As a mom of a 16 year old non verbal Autistic child, please help us by supporting this. Light it up blue for these children, for all children who are Autistic and those who have to struggle with a sibling with Autism. You cannot imagine what these children go through and suffer on a daily basis. Please help us.

  312. Im alsxo a mother of autism.Thank you for writing that beautiful letter.I will be lighting my house up in blue and will be wearing blue too.I hope the president does the same.

  313. Mr. President,

    If the water in the White House fountain can be turned green for St. Patrick’s Day, I hope that the steps can be taken to Light Up the White House BLUE for Autism Awareness Day. This small step would mean so much to we the parents of autistic children. Please help to shed a BLUE LIGHT on this disorder which has touched so many families – my family included.
    Pam – Cherry Hill, NJ

  314. Jess, your letter brought tears to my eyes as i also know how it is to have an autistic child my son was diagnosed at one year he is now 32 the years have been hard but as a parent you hang in there and do the best you can. Mr. President will you please light up the white house in blue for the families of children with autism. God Bless you and your beautiful family. I am so proud and honored to have you as our new President.

  315. Thank you, Jess, for beautifully illustrating what is at the heart of parenting a child with autism…fierce determination! The fight, for the needs of our children, can take so much out of us, and we simply can no longer continue to do it on our own. Our children are valuable and need to be recognized as such. Please Mr. President, help our community get the dialog started for awareness, change, and support.

  316. My son is 4 and was diagnosed with Autism at age 2. This is such a small act that could positively affect so many. We’re lighting our house blue, I hope to see images of the White House lit in blue also.

  317. Each one of us has our story- each one of us has our own autism. Please turn the White House blue for one night- this is no ordinary cause. We are ordinary people who, through no known demographic, are living extraordinary lives.

  318. I too have an autistic child! It would be wonderful to see our President support Autism awareness!!!

  319. Mr. President,

    Please help us by lighting up the White House blue for the one night. So many of us would be so greatful to you. We all here have our stories and we know that there is no way that you can read them all. But we do know that for the one night you can show your support to our children and to us! For us, it is all about making sure that people are aware of autism. That they can understand why our children are the way they are.
    Thank you in advance, because I know you will do this for us!!!!

  320. I am, yet another, mother of a child with autism. I LOVE my son more than words can say. He is only eight, diagnosed at two. He has three younger siblings. I have bent over backwards trying to give my son the help and resources he needs to survive in this world. I, at 33 years old, went back to school. I have,thus far, completed my masters in general/special education, am almost done my schooling to become a board certified behavior analyst, certified autism specialist and I am halfway through schooling to be a child phsychologist. I am doing my part to help as many other children with autism as my own son. Mr. President, it is your turn to do your part…….light it up blue!

  321. Dear Mr. President,

    I’m the mother to a typically-developing son and an autistic daughter who also has physical disabilities.

    My husband and I will be lighting our house blue, Mr. President, to spark conversations about our journey with autism.

    My daughter cannot speak, but we can. Imagine how many others will hear us if you light your house blue, too.

    Sincerely,
    Donna Murray, NC

  322. Dear Mr. President,
    Please take Jess’ words to heart. Doing this one simple thing will speak volumes to so many. Your support is a critical element to help raise awareness.

  323. Thank you for writing this letter, Jess. On behalf of my family, friends, and three little boys on the autism spectrum, I would love to see the White House “light it up blue”.

  324. This author has an amazing way of showing her readers how autism impacts a family in so many profound ways. Please light the White House Blue Mr. President.

    Mr. President, please speak to our nation and all around the world and share the light.

  325. Very moving letter, and great initiative, Jess.

    My 6 year old nephew is on the spectrum, and I am humbled, awed, and moved by the valiant fight that both my little nephew and my tireless sister have to put up daily, against this little understood scourge.

    Mr. President, light up the White House blue on the 2nd!! This little act of yours, will do wonders for the fight against Autism.

    -ranjan

  326. Jess -

    Can I tweek this letter so that others can send similar message to the President?

    Thanks….

  327. Well put! Please light it up blue Mr. President, it IS something you can do now! Please help make people more aware this epedimic. My autistic son would really appriciate it!!!!!

  328. Dear Mr. President,
    This letter says so very well what most of us feel and do daily with our beautiful sons and daughters with autism. Please light it up blue on April 2.
    Thank you,
    Kristine Vosecky, Ohio, mother of Benjamin Joseph, 6 1/2.

  329. Mr. President,
    Isn’t your motto “together we can.” Well, together we can do alot, and this small effort on part of the White House would be HUGE! We have alot of friends with autistic kids, and this becoming far too common. Please help!
    Thank you.
    Welch Family

  330. Mr. President,
    Isn’t your motto “together we can.” Well, together we can do alot, and this small effort on part of the White House would be HUGE! We have alot of friends with autistic kids, and this becoming far too common. Please help!
    Thank you.
    Welch Family

  331. This letter is extraordinary and does a beautiful job of speaking for our growing community. My husband and I do our best to provide our own spectrum child with the therapies, accommodations, and supports he needs. Our son is smart and capable, but he won’t be able to find his place in the world to make his own contributions without the understanding of other people who can give him opportunities. Please help us to raise awareness and get people interested in learning more. Thank you.

  332. Awareness might not be the main goal, but it is an important piece of the puzzle. How many mom’s like me are out there with children at the less severe end of the spectrum and the kids are falling through the cracks? We are just now getting a diagnosis and my boys are 6 and 11 (with three other siblings in the mix). Years of struggling with certain things, but not pursuing it. Our misunderstanding and lack of awareness caused us to think autism was different than what we were experiencing. I’m so thankful for those that tirelessly advocate and educate.
    Blue light bulbs aren’t going to “fix” all of the myriad issues involved any more than they’ll bring world peace. However, it is one small thing that can make a big dent. It can spark conversations and maybe another mom that’s thinking “He fits a lot of what I’ve read, but I just don’t know if it’s enough for a diagnosis.” will think a little more, trust her instinct a little more and push for her kiddo a little more. It’s also a huge way to show support to so many families that often struggle alone.

  333. Thank you so much for always taking the time to fight for our children Jess.

    Mr President, I am the mother of 3 daughters ages 10, 8, and 3. Two of my daughters have Autism my 10 year old and my 3 year old. Our days are spent doing therapy which might not seem like therapy to the average person but every step we take through every minute of every day is to help our girls become the best that they can be. I am amazed by their strengths and the strength that they pass on to me. I am amazed by my 8 year old daughters wisdom and compassion, she is wiser then most adults I know and for that some days I am sorry that she is in the position to know how lucky she is to be “normal” but to be sandwiched between two sisters who struggle daily and get most of her parents attention and for the most part she sits back and smiles, what Mr President is that doing to her? We are a retired Military family, my husband served in the Navy for 21 years. We are proud of our country and of our family. We ask that you join our family and light your home blue along with ours to promote Autism awareness.

  334. Mr. President,

    I hope you take the time to read this letter as well as the comments that keep building on the bottom of this page. I love hearing all of these voices coming together for one common cause. It would help all of our children, including my own beautiful, amazing 6 year old son with autism, if we had the support of our Commander in Chief.

    Heather St. Clair

  335. Thank you. I’m off to but blue bulbs for my beautiful Sweet Girl, 3.5 years old with autism and hope.

    Sarah

    http://www.theadventuresofsweetgirlandlittleman.blogspot.com

  336. Thank you. I’m off to buy blue bulbs for my Sweet Girl; 3.5 years old with autism and hope.

  337. [...] This is the best thing I’ve seen, with regard to the reasoning behind the Light It Up Blue campaign.   But, honestly, I’ve never been good with the symbolism behind these things.  At least the Day of Silence (which I participated in for many years) kind of throws the whole thing at you.  But these things – putting blue lightbulbs on your porch, or posting where you like to put your purse (“I like it on the table”) as your facebook status for, um, Breast Cancer Awareness, I think? – I’ve never quite been able to match up the symbolism to the reality.  After all, the only people who are going to know what you mean are the people who already know the objective anyway. [...]

  338. Autism is a health issue, an education issue, an economic issue. It’s an American issue. It’s time to shine a light on it.

  339. [...] PS  If you haven’t yet left a comment for The President (of the United States) at Jess’ post… GET ON IT. [...]

  340. It’s not just my youngest son who has autism. It’s the whole family. We need people to understand that autism isn’t just that 1 in 100, it’s everyone who lives with, teaches and loves someone who has it. The more we talk about it, the more people will understand.

    Mr. President, you have a voice louder than all of ours put together. Please help.

  341. This is by far one of the best written pieces I have seen. Your post truly captures the love and complete pride we take in our children. My middle son, rory is 4 and has autism. He has come such a long way, but much more is needed. I have an amazing team who work tirelessly with us. I have a handful of supportive friends and family. It is the majority of everyone else, who’s lives have not yet been affected with special needs that we need to work to educate.

  342. my brother has a mild form of autism, and my cousin has asperger’s.. as of right now im writing a six page paper for my college comp. 1 class about Autism. this letter meant the world to me. thankyou. :)

  343. Light it up BLUE for my 6 year old son and the millions like him!

  344. my 3 year old son was diagnosed a year ago. it has been difficult at times and a whole new world for us. he has two typical brothers who think he is just great !!! your letter was awesome !!!!

  345. Please light blue for all the families affected!!!!!

  346. Dear Mr. President:
    I do not have any children with autism, but those children and their amazing parents are all around us and need our help! Light it up blue to show them that support the affected children and their parents and advocates!

  347. Dear Mr. President – Please listen to what Jess is saying, as she speaks so eloquently for so many parents.

  348. As a mother of a 4 year old son on the autism spectrum seeing the white house lit up blue would mean so much more than a blue light bulb. While to someone without a child on the spectrum it may just be a blue light… but then they would ask the “why”. Getting the word out there about autism would just be amazing.

  349. my two year old son is autistic and every single day is a battle and a blessing. i hope the president decides to light the white house blue!

  350. Mr. President,
    My son became one of the 110 children that was diagnosed with Autism last year. But to us he isn’t just a statistic. He is a little boy who works so very hard to overcome the obstacles that are in his way. He is a little boy who is sweet and loving. He is a little boy that struggles with his speech but he makes great
    progress due to his intensive therapies. We are so proud of our son and embrace his uniqueness and would love for the world to embrace him as well.
    We’d love your support in promoting awareness for all who are affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    Please light the White House blue!
    The Wyatt Family

  351. Light it up blue for my 19 year old non-verbal autistic son!

  352. Please light the White House blue!

  353. *applause* to you Jess. your writing always has excellent aim, but sometimes you hit the bullseye with awe-inspiring accuracy.

    so many expensive and politically-necessary dinners and meetings occur in the White House, so much effort by so many people for the sake of show on a global stage. we are asking to change the color of some light bulbs. that is all. and by doing this, the world will see that the White House considers this epidemic worth acknowledging.

    1 in 110.

  354. Please light up the White House blue out of respect for the countless families that endure the heartbreak and hardship that Autism brings with it. The real question is why wouldn’t you turn the White House blue?

  355. Dear Mr. President,

    I feel that Autism has absolutely reached unbearable levels. I am a Mom of an 11 year old boy who was diagnosed with Autism at 15 months old. It has been a long and beautiful journey for me but I fear that without more attention to this issue, OUR CHILDREN will suffer. I URGE you to “light up White House Blue” in Honor of Children all over the world.

    Thank You Michele Mom of Timmy age 11 Long Island NY

  356. Dear President Obama,

    I am urging you at this moment in the trajectory of your presidency to take a stand on behalf of all children who share the experience of living unique and glorious lives that are so deeply misunderstood and conveyed erroneously in our country. A gesture as crucial as this one would help a lot of us who have not been happy with your education policies and their inherent normalizing stances: take a stand and light the white house blue.

  357. My 3 year old son Tristan was diagnosed with a mild case of autism a few months ago. I will be changing my porch lights to blue for the whole month of April. I’m doing it for my son & even more so, for other families out there who are going through the same things as me & for the families who’s struggle is much harder than mine. I also do it for everyone who doesn’t understand autism or who may have never had the chance to learn. I will do it to start very important conversations that can/will make a world of difference in our child’s future.
    PLEASE, MR. OBAMA, LIGHT IT UP BLUE!!!

  358. Awareness is the way toward the answer. If the White House were to participate, it would start a large discussion on news channels and hopefully in homes about autism.

  359. I have already wrote you once about lighting the white house blue for autims :) IT would be the world to everyone that has been touched by it. My son is 3 years old and means the world to me and he has autism, and he is turly misunderstood by many. If there were more awarness maybe he wouldnt be so misunderstood like so many others. Please light up the white house blue.

  360. This will be our first world autism day. DS was recently diagnosed. Help bring awareness to his disorder!

  361. Mr. President,

    PLEASE LIGHT the WHITE HOUSE UP BLUE!!! A beacon of hope for all of us so dearly affected by autism. My daughter, Stephanie has autism. I often feel helpless. I know there is no miracle cure, but if we could just get people to talk, maybe they would understand…and be more accepting and tolerant of my daughter’s differences. And…it’s not just my daughter and my family that is affected…it’s SOOOOOO many more. Please…light it up blue!!! I lit up my house and people are talking…your house is soooo much bigger and more visable.

  362. Our 6-year-old adopted son has Autism and it is very much a central part of our life. Our schedules revolve around multiple therapies, all our activities take his needs into consideration, and a large part of our income is dedicated to making his life (as well as the rest of the family) as full as possible.

    Please consider this simple request so the community will know of your support for our families.

  363. Please show your support for the autism community around the world!!!!! It isn’t much that we are asking, but it would mean the world to so many!!!!

  364. It may not mean much to you, Mr. President, but to us, our family and most especially our children, it means the world. Will you please light it up blue?

  365. Mr. President,,

    My son is four, and was also diagnosed with Autism in September 2010. That day was one of the hardest of my families life. He’s come a long way since that day! My husband proudly serves this country for moments like these. President Obama, a friend of mine told me something that I’d like to share with you. Without Autism, I would never know just how lovely roses really smell. So I ask you, to stop and smell the roses. Light it up blue.Your voice,and power can open up new doors for my son.For the Autism & military family community!

  366. Dear President,
    Like my daughter, I am not the best with words. I ask you to Light it Blue to raise autism awareness because it is just some bulbs to change and yet that feat doesn’t even compare to what these families go through on a daily basis. Help the world accept and learn with my daughter.
    Thank you.

  367. Not only do i have friends who have children who are challenged with autism, but as a preschool teacher I also see the struggles that families go through on a daily basis. Awareness is a step toward education, and education is a step towards acceptance and ultimately finding a cure. Make a smart decision, Mr. President!

  368. Light the whit house blue on April 2nd!!

  369. Mr. President,
    I am the mother of a wonderful autistic son who is 8 years old. He has many dreams, and one of those is to become President. He says that he will make it illegal for anyone to bully another person, not just children with disabilities like him. He included all American people in his dream as President, so won’t you please include all Americans in yours? I can only imagine that if it were your child, the White House would be lit up in blue….but, Mr. President, it is really OUR house, the American people’s house….as you can only live in the White House for up to 8 years at a time, my son has to live in a world of autism for a life time….As just a nobody, who still believes that we stand united in our country, I humbly ask that you show your support for my son and so many others like him. His name is John Caleb, and he is going to be President one day.

  370. Dear Mr.President,

    The words here on this page, echo the thoughts of thousands of us moms and dads with children on the spectrum. We are doing everything we can for our children. But we need you too! Because as Jess said, when you make the gesture of lighting it up blue, conversations will spark, news media will take notice, word will spread.

    Please, please light it up blue for us, for our children, for children all over the world – be the shining example that we so need!

  371. Mr. President – I urge youth take the time to read what this amazing mother has written and take action on her requests. Not only for her but for every person in our Nation who struggles everyday to live their lives in a world that has blinders on. Please bring more awareness and knowledge to help each person with autism anf the parents and caregivers who work and live with these amazing people each day. Thank you.

  372. Mr. President,
    As Jess has so eloquently said, this small gesture on your part could potentially spark the conversations that will lead to the awareness that will foster the understanding our kids with Autism so desperately need. My son and daughter have so much to contribute to this great country of ours – they just need people to give them a chance. Please Light it up Blue!

  373. This story is the story of so many of us in this great nation. I am the mother of a 8 yr old beautiful boy who has Aspergers. We have great days, and we have not so great days. Today was one of those “not so great ones”. As I left the dentist office with both my child and myself in tears, I plead you do what is right Mr. President…Light Our House BLUE.

  374. Jess speaks from her heart. Please support her, her family and others in the autism community. Thanks Mr President!

  375. President Obama,

    My son Drew has Autism and no one in this government nor our insurance provider has ever done anything to help him and it’s wrong to ignore and deprive our kids from a productive life and the American Dream. We need your help! Your a reasonable man and I know you care about this cause. Please do the right thing and get the conversation going to the extent it should be and Light It Up Blue on 4/2

    Thank you Sir,

    Justin

  376. Dear Jess, thank you. Your daily posts are wonderful, they make me laugh, they make me cry, they give me hope and help me through those moments when I feel I’m on my own. They are a comfort. I am living in Ireland but as Autism is a universal issue that knows no boundaries I feel that the Whitehouse or even the fountain going blue would be a wonderful show of support and ultimately could encourage other countries to show similar support/recognition. If they can do it for St. Patricks day why not World Autism day. My daughter is 5 and was diagnosed last year. She will turn 6 on 2nd April 2011.

  377. I agree with Jess. She writes so beautifully. Everything she writes describes all our daily struggles as well! Please Mr. President “Light it up Blue”! Not only for my 9 year old Caleb who has Asperger’s but for my other two children as well. So everyone in our lifes will better understand him and what we go through!

  378. Dear Mr. President,

    My daughter is 12 years old, we live in Henderson, Nevada, USA.
    Roni has been diagnosed with failure to thrive since birth, learning and development delayed by 6 months, thyroid disorder in 2007, moderate/mild hearing loss in both ears in 2007, PDD-NOS in 2007, ODD in 2007, ADHD in 2007, Asperger’s (mild autism) in 2007, MMR (mild mentally retarded) in 2008 and the rare Chromosome disorder in 2009.

    On April 2nd of this year, the world will join together in observation of the Fourth Annual World Autism Awareness Day. As you know, this day exists because it has to. Because our children’s ranks are now growing in undeniably epidemic proportions. Because 1 in 110 children are now on the autism spectrum. 1 in 110. Please take a moment to let the enormity of that number sink in. The numbers aren’t getting any smaller. And someday mothers like me – mothers of 1 in every 110 children – will no longer be here to take care of our precious babies.

    Please support her, her family and others in the autism community. Thanks Mr President!

  379. Mr. President,
    Please hear our cries for support and awareness! Light it up blue for the thousands and thousands of American children and their families who are affect by Autism. It is a national crisis and should be recognized as such. We will all be lighting our houses blue, but surely many more people will see your house and ask why. That opens the conversation which leads to knowledge, which leads to understanding and tolerance. I URGE you to listen to the people.
    I personally ask you light the White House blue. My daughter is 3 years old and was diagnosed with Autism on November 9, 2010. No doubt it has changed the lives of every one in my family. Please do this, for my sweet baby girl Cymbaline, who fights every day to learn to communicate, and struggles to understand what to most of us are common every day things.
    Thank you!
    Barbara Brakowski

  380. Mr. President,
    I, also, am the parent of a child (well adolescent), with autism. I urge you to bring the awareness to this country that ONLY you can create. Jess is absolutely right about everything she writes about in her letter. In order for us to make a world that 1 in 110 (nearly 1% of the population) persons with autism can live in, we must first make everyone aware. I am sure, as a parent, you can understand. Please show your support for the nearly 1% of our population by Lighting the White House Blue for World Autism Awareness Day! Will you help us Shine a Light on Autism?

  381. If the leader of the free world makes the decision to light the White House blue for World Autism Awareness Day, it will make a difference – it will say to all the families who live with, who frequently struggle with, who fall down and get up again because of autism that we count, we matter, we are seen and we are heard. It will also make a difference by prompting people who don’t know much about autism to stop and think about it. To ask questions. Maybe just to stop and think, ‘wow, that must be hard’.
    I have two sons. My youngest has autism. Autism has altered our lives in every way imaginable. Not a single decision, action or emotion in our family remains untouched by autism. It factors into everything.
    Mr President, even though I don’t live in your country, I see you as a true and real leader, a genuine, compassionate, intelligent man. I hope you take the lead by Lighting It Blue this year.
    Thanks Jess. You are a leader, a voice, you are the ocean in the drop!

  382. Mr. President,
    Each and every day my husband wakes up and puts on a green uniform proudly. He has for over 18 years. He doesn’t ask questions or complains, he just goes wherever you or the great commander in chiefs before you tell him to go.
    I found out our precious son Luke had autism while my husband was in Iraq. That was over four years ago and way too many sleepless nights have passed me by. I worry about my son’s education, his health, and his future. I worry about his sister who often gets ignored and passed over because her brother needs me constantly.
    More often than not I don’t speak up, write letters, or participate in making autism
    awareness a given. I’m too busy taking care of my son. But I’m writing this because Jess wrote a beautiful letter for me and my son. So, since my husband and our family sacrifice daily so he can serve you and this great country, you owe us one. Please, Light up your house blue. Please.
    Respectfully,
    Rebecca (wife of Soldier) and mom to Luke 6 and Camdyn 7

  383. Won’t you please… light it up blue!

  384. Dear Mr. President,
    My porch light is blue year-round for my beautiful little girl and all others with autism disorders who struggle every day to communicate in a world that can be so overwhelming. Please join us for this one day. Please.

  385. Kaye so wonderfully quoted: “but, Mr. President, it is really OUR house, the American people’s house….as you can only live in the White House for up to 8 years at a time, my son has to live in a world of autism for a life time…”

    Prayers to all of you & your families ~ I bought my lightbulb!

  386. Mr President, I live in a community where a member of the budget committee (the elected body that decides on the schooll budget) thinks that not all children are worthy of an education. He thinks that special ed should only be extended to those that he deems will make a contribution to society and not be on the public assistance ever. He thinks eugenics is a valid and worthwhile concept and that it should be implemented in our community.

    Please, for my 2 children with autism, please Mr President, light the white house blue on April 2nd. Shine the clear blue light of compassion, understanding, awareness and acceptance across our great nation to destroy the dark hearts and dark minds residing in it that threaten to take us back to the 1950′s or even further back in the dark ages society.

    Mr President, I have a dream and it starts with a brilliant blue light shining in my nation’s capital on April 2nd. Wont you help make my dream come true?

  387. PLEASE do this one small thing as a way to show all the children and families your support!

    SO very well written, Jess! I wish I had your ability to put these thoughts into words, but am so thankful to be able to read your letter and your posts!

  388. Dear Mr. President,
    On March 11, 2000, Jackson Ryan Mayor entered the world. I chose his name thinking that it was a strong name, a name fit for a future president. Our dreams for Jack were forever changed on July 18, 2006. Our miracle, that took countless prayers and interventions from nearly every infertility specialist in the Chicagoland area, was diagnosed with autism on that day, a day that we will never forget. Trying to cope everyday with what autisms hands us is the hardest job in the world.
    I ask you to light the White House blue. Light it for my child, light it for every child born with autism and more importantly, light it for your children’s children. The sooner funds are provided to find a cure, our wish that another baby will not be born with autism, will come true.
    Sincerely,
    Diana Mayor

  389. Proud mother of an 1& yr old son with Asperger syndrome

  390. Please Mr President, we need your help.
    I am aware of your decision to nominate Ari Ne’eman the first Autistic appointee to the National Council on Disability. http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/10/exclusive-ari-neeman-qa/all/1
    I have heard you speak about restoring the rights of disabled people, early screening & intervention, education and rights to live inclusively…please continue to help see these goals become a reality and to raise awareness for what Autism truly is. We need your voice! We need your ongoing support!!!!

    When my son goes into a screaming rage of frustration…so many don’t understand. So many have no idea how challenging life is for families living daily trying to cope, teach, protect and fight for supports to help their children live amidst our overstimulating socially confusing world. Just today as my son got upset at the dr’s office, the nurse made it worse by overwhelming him with chatter about stickers that he didn’t understand, i calmly asked her to give him space and quiet. So many don’t realize how much we can learn from our children, and how much they have to offer. For I truly believe my son has made me a far more compassionate, patient and caring person. He has also taught me to fight for what I believe in…why I also feel compelled to write you.

    Jess has been an amazing voice for the Autism community, I hope you take the time to read what she and others have to say to heart…I agree, Acceptance that can only be born of Awareness…& your voice will reach far more than ours.

    thank you

  391. I think it would be good for the most important house in the country to lead the charge and “Light It Up Blue”. I featured your letter on my blog and Facebook page today and directed people here to make comments. I hope that was okay…

  392. Dear Mr. President,

    I respectfully ask you to reconsider your decision to join us in the “Light it Up Blue” campaign. All we are attempting to do is bring awareness to the daily struggle our children face. These are some of our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. My son Cole,the son, grandson, and great grandson of veterans has overcome so much on his short life, but I know the road ahead of him will not be an easy one. Through education and awareness, possibly he will be able to live in a more enlightened world. You and Vice President Biden promised during your campaign to help those on the autism spectrum, a little blue light really wouldn’t hurt. Please Sir, join us in shedding a little light on this battle we fight every day.

    Sincerely,

    Katherine Kierspel, mom of Cole

  393. Dear Mr. President,
    In addition to the blue bulbs I’ve shared in my tiny town in NH, I’ve sent blue bulbs to Buffalo and Brockport,NY, Nahant and Holden,MA and to New Orleans and Cincinnati. While these lights will be lighting up households in these towns, you have the chance to light up The People’s House by lighting the White House Blue. Please join us in our efforts to build awareness for a cause that scrapes all of our hearts.
    Thank you!

  394. While I do not have an autistic child, we live in a “hot spot” for autism in Huntsville, AL. One of my very close friends has an amazing son who is autistic. Perhaps I’m more sensitive to how this has affected their life since I have a child who fights huge battles too (with Ataxia-Telangiectasia.) Let’s let the conversations roll, spread awareness. With awareness comes compassion. Let it be the Blue House for a day!

  395. Dear Mr President,

    We are facing a crisis. We are the parents of the missing children. They slipped away while we still held their hand. Please help us spread awareness for the fight to get them back.

    Thank you
    Christine

  396. As a Special Educator who works directly with children and the families of children recently diagnosed with autism, I ask you, Mr. President, to please help us spread awareness. Please show support for these children, their families and the professionals who work with them. It takes more than a village.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  397. Please Mr. President – Light it up Blue! To light up the White House blue would mean so much to so many and set such a great example for the whole country and the world!

  398. President Obama,Please light it up blue for my 10 year old son who has autism,for all the kids & adults with autism,for all the family members of people with autism,for anyone who loves someone with autism.
    LIGHT IT UP BLUE!!!!

  399. Mr President, please Light the White House Up Blue as a sign you understand and support the struggles families dealing with autism have every day. I will be lighting my house blue for my ten year old grandson, Thomas and to spread awareness about Autism.

  400. Dear President Obama,
    Please consider lighting up your house blue like our family will do for World Autism Awareness Day. Do it for the 1 in 110 children, the 1 in 70 boys, the parents who fiercely fight each day and for my son, Logan who is 8 and was diagnosed with autism at 2 1/2. He really loves you and is a pretty great judge of character :)
    Sincerely,
    Tara, Logan’s mom

  401. Please make the simple gesture as to light the White House blue and give the millions of people affected by autism (either directly, family, friends, etc) hope. Hope for awareness. Hope for acceptance. Hope is a powerful emotion and beautiful feeling. Let us feel hope.

  402. Our son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at 4 years old. I am thankful every day for those who have provided therapy and support to our family, but there have been times when I didn’t know where to turn. Often I’ve wondered what I would do if he were more severely impacted. It’s such a difficult job, and one that more and more parents are taking on willingly. Yes, they have to do so – but they willingly do it because they want their children to thrive. We need awareness – not just of what it is, but how to help support those with autism and those who are raising and caring for autistic sons, daughters, grandchildren, siblings. It would be very meaningful to see your support in blue light.

  403. Mr. President:
    Please Light it up blue for Autism Awareness Day!
    Thank you!!

  404. Dear President Obama,
    Please light the White House blue so that a lot of people will ask why and that we parents can explain to them what Autism is all about, thereby making the world more understanding, tolerant and compassionate to ALL children.
    Respectfully,
    Tani from the Philippines

  405. Mr President,

    Looks like Australia will be lighting up the opera house for the night…please light up the White House too.

    http://www.autismawareness.com.au/

  406. Dear Mr President,
    Here in Sydney the Sydney Opera House is being lit on April 1st, hopefully you’ll see that and decide to light the White House blue on April 2 – we need worldwide awareness and if other countries can do it, can you?
    Please know that more children are diagnosed with an ASD than childhood Aids, Diabetes and Cancer combined so awareness is extremely important.
    Thanks
    Eva

  407. Dear Mr President,

    I am the mother of a 8 years olb boy with autism. I thank you so much for your support in scientific research to help find a cure. We are getting closer and it’s amazing. Let’s be even more proud of the White House and your dedication. Please light the White House Blue this year. Bless you Mr President.

  408. [...] continue reading the letter. PLEASE do. It says so much more than I can fit into 2000 characters .. http://lightthewhitehouseblue.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/this-is-my-autism/#comments. While you’re there, PLEASE read the HUNDREDS of comments from every corner of the autism [...]

  409. Mr President,

    Please light the White House blue. As the leader of our country, you should show support for all the families out there who deal with autism on a regular basis.

  410. Mr. President,
    My family is in full support of lighting the white house blue on April 1st.
    Thank you,
    Joey McCutcheon

  411. Practically from the moment my girl was born, she never looked anyone in the eye. Thirteen years later, she has wonderful eye contact, thanks to the effort of all her teachers. She has other challenges, but this one thing gives me hope that the rest can be conqured.

  412. Dear President Obama,

    My daughter has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her birthday is April 1st which I can only acknowledge as a sign to push for her and others for Autism awareness. Most people don’t even know what Autism even looks like, they call my daughter spoiled rotten because she throws tantrums, they call children retarded because they look a little different, or act a little different, they even have been known to be pushed out and kicked down just because they are not like other people. Shine your light on the White House this April to help others question what Autism is, and why they need to understand the disorder.
    Because my daughter is worth it.

  413. Mr. President, If our country can orchestrate war, major financial decisions and much much more. I feel confident that they can make this happen. Awareness is not going to give this Autism community more services, financial care or miracles. But what it will do is show society that Autism and any special need should be treated with the same kindness and respect that we treat typical human beings. It will help our children make one more friend. It will help a perfect stranger understand. It will help work towards a life of acceptance. My son is not yet 3 and these things are what keep me awake EVERY night. Like any parent we just want and deserve the best for our children. It’s a full time job with Autism and most of us parents also work full time and raise multiple children as my husband and I do. Doing this may not seem very impactful. But for those of us that sit and reflect on this one day, it will be moving. I’ll be watching.

  414. Thank You Jess for all your courage. I find a strengh in your words that help make the days go by brighter. To encourage me to support my son through the good and bad.If you can’t be heard then scream a little louder thats what I tell myself everyday when we face challenges at school with his peers or all to often the school staff,social situations…. heck even at the local store. Our family, friends and neighbors deserve the respect, the world wide awarness and understanding of Autism.

  415. Dear Mr. President, Please light the White House blue for my brave and beautiful niece and her family, and all those who live with and are affected by autism.

  416. Mr. President,

    This is an easy one. It’s not Iraq, it’s definitely not Afghanistan or the economy. It certainly isn’t DOMA or DADT. It’s simple. You can do SO much to show your support of these families and raise awareness for their cause (their children), with the simple act of changing a few lightbulbs.

  417. For our beautiful son, Will.

  418. These words ring true for more families than you can imagine. Please consider Jess’s plea, mr. President … One small gesture can set the wheels in motion towards a world of greater understanding and compassion.
    Humbly,
    Jana Quinn
    Mom to 2 beautiful little girls, one of whom is on the autism spectrum

  419. Both of my children are on the autism spectrum. They are both bright and loving and have a disorder that makes it difficult for others to relate to them. We need to raise awareness of this epidemic and it’s devastating results. Our family is always stressed – financially and emotionally and mentally – by this disorder. And we are not alone. We need to help these children now and as they mature and their families. It’s the right thing and the best thing to do. Please!!!

  420. [...] you haven’t already, please read and comment on the letter from Jess (A Diary of a Mom) to President Obama, asking him to light up The White House on April 1st and [...]

  421. Dear Mr. President,

    Please make the light house blue, for my son and the 1 in 110 like him! Because our children are worth it, we saw you do it in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month, please do it for us!

    Shannon

  422. Please Mr. President put actions behind your words. Listen to Jess. She writes what so many of us are feeling, and her blog is a comfort to so many of us too. My son was diagnosed PDD-NOS one year ago April 2. It’s been a year like no other. Some sadness, some relief, some fear, some joy, and with this wonderful community, lots of hope. Thank you both!

  423. Mr. President,
    We speak as Mothers, this is true. We also speak as the voices of our children, who cannot. They cannot email you, comment or support this campaign, but WE can. We are politely requesting the same respect and courtesy afforded to other disorders. Our children deserve a voice. As parents we have the responsibility to serve, lead and teach our children. As President, you have the responsibility to serve, lead and teach your Country.
    We help across the Ocean. The least we can do is help at home. Such a simple thing… a light bulb. I just don’t get it.

  424. [...] My fellow blogging Mama, Jess, from A Diary of a Mom also wrote to you in regards to this. We’re asking that you lend your voice to the cause by starting a conversation amongst your viewers about autism, and by using your influence to encourage our president to do the same, by lighting the White House blue as well.  Jess’ letter to President Obama can be found at http://lightthewhitehouseblue.wordpress.com/ [...]

  425. The statistics show that ASD is growing, that the people with this disorder need resources. Mr. President show the people who work with ASD, who live with it, who get beat by it EVERYDAY that you do care, that you understand the need for awareness and that you respect the millions of voting people who are affected by ASD. So, please light the White House blue, show us that you, the President of the United States of America, will do what it takes to bring awareness to the community of Autism.

  426. Dear Mr. President,

    While I realize that there are many causes and all want theirs highlighted, our children are our future and many autistic children are absolutely brilliant, my grandson is. Please light up blue for Autism Awareness and help make more people aware of the seriousness of the 1 in 110 with autism. When I watched my friend with her severely autistic son little did I know one day my own grandson would autistic.

  427. Please, sir! Please lend our children your voice–or at least, some light.

  428. Thank you Jess for being a voice in this crowd. We are lighting up blue, and Mr. President, I hope you do too.

    I am a mother of two kids, a six year girl, and an eight year boy with autism. The way he interprets things warms my heart, but the way he struggles, especially outside the house, against the confines of ‘normal’ continually breaks it.

  429. I have a 7 year old son with Asperger’s and there is no where near enough public knowledge of any ASD. I hope that you, Mr. President, help to change this by lighting the White House blue for one day. You doing something so simple could help all of us spread the word so our children do not have to have fingers pointed at them, so we as parents do not have to exert so much energy just to get out children an education, a doctors appointment or just an evening out without judgment.

  430. As always, very well said, Jess! Thanks for using your words so eloquently to help families affected by autism.

    Mr. President, please light it up blue to bring more attention to this very important cause. As the mother of a 14 year old son on the autism spectrum, I am all too aware of the work that needs to be done – research, education, and planning to help my son function well in this world and for this world to understand, accept, and embrace the remarkable person he is. Please do the right thing.

  431. Light it up Mr. President. Hey, it’s even your party color.

  432. No one will say it better than Jess, Mr. President. But I will add my voice to hers.

    Light the White House blue. Do it for the children and the families – one out of every hundred – who live with this condition day in and day out. Do it for the children who face constant struggles and censure every single day. Do it for the parents who constantly worry if they are doing enough to help their kids and who worry even more who will do so for them when they are no longer here to watch over them. Do it for the siblings whose lives have been shaped just as profoundly as those who have autism.

    Do it for our family. We have three boys, two with autism. They have been in therapy and early intervention services since they were two years old. It will be a lifelong process, for us, for them, and for their big brother.

    Do it for the millions of other families out there, just like ours.

    Light the White House blue, and stand with a community struggling to find answers and hope for their amazing children.

  433. Mr. President, I am adding my voice to the hundreds who have already joined Jess. Even today, in a world where 1 in 110 children is diagnosed with autism, there is still so much ignorance about what autism is and is not and what our children can and cannot do. You could do so much by lighting the White House blue on April 2nd. I want my children to grow up in a world where their disability is only one facet of who they are and that begins with awareness.

    Many thanks.
    -KAL, mom to twin boys on the autism spectrum

  434. On behalf of all those who cannot express themselves but need a voice…please help raise awareness!! Despite all the advancements in technology, there is still not a big enough spotlight being shone on Autism and its effects. My son has experienced bullying and ignorance and through it all, he has the biggest heart I know.Help shine a light on these incredible kids and their families!

  435. Mr President,

    Can we find a way to make autism research, awareness, and support a priority, even in the midst of war, bipartisan feuding, and economic upheaval?

    Yes we can.

    But we need your help. Our children need your help. The numbers keep increasing, and we have no answers. What must the numbers be to garner attention? 1 in 50? 1 in 25? We are headed there, Mr. President.

    My son is five, and was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was four-years-old. Our lives will never be the same. We can only hope that someday research will find a cure. But we need your help.

    Please show the world that the leader of the greatest nation recognizes there is a need for more. More research. More services. More help for families affected by autism.

    It’s just a few blue lightbulbs. We can manage that, can’t we?

    Yes we can.

  436. Thanks for writing what I don’t have the talent or ability to say! You are an inspiration to all autism parents! Thank you, Jess!!!

  437. Please Mr. President – I ask you to change the bulbs blue for just a few nights , so my child knows that there are people out there on his side, not the people he has to deal with everyday in school and in life that do not understand him and think he is wrong because he is different.

  438. Just a few lightbulbs will bring so much exposure to increasing problem. As a taxpayer it can’t be that expensive to buy a few lightbulbs and have a few people change it out.

  439. All that is being asked is for one day of awareness, and then we, the ones living everyday with autism, will work hard the rest of the year to spread awareness and acceptance for those we love. Your one day can make the rest of our year a little easier. It may mean less judgment from unaware shoppers at the store when things get a little rocky or a few less stares at the playground when my son is playing a little different than the others. Awareness and acceptance can change so much in our lives and you can be a part of that change!! Light it up blue!!

  440. One more request.

    With state funding and district funding getting cut for services, we need all the support and awareness we can get.

    Please. It’s important for our future.

  441. Wonderful letter Jess!!! You speak from the hearts of so many Americans. Please Mr. President, do the right thing and light The White House Blue!

  442. Thank you, Jess, for giving my son Pete, a voice!
    Dear President Obama,
    As simple as it sounds, please light up the White House and promote awareness of who are children really are, for acceptance and understanding. 1 in 110, that’s an awful of lot of children to ignore, misunderstand and discard.

    Please listen, we implore you to help! 1 in 110 need your help. We are told, “early intervention is the only way”, and yet there are no services, no help and nowhere to turn. We are desperate parents fighting for our children who have no voice.

    Let awareness start with a simple blue light. Please, Mr. President, help our kids – there is simply nowhere else for us to turn.

  443. Mr. President.

    It is with every respect that I urge you to put great effort into finding a cure for autism. More and more children are impacted every day. As a teacher, and a mother, I see this crisis growing daily. My own beautiful little boy was recently diagnosed, though we have fought for YEARS to find out what is wrong with him. Light the White House blue. Help us.

  444. The Healthcare Bill may be one of the most important pieces of legislation passed since the Johnson administration. There is an epidemic of Autism overtaking our children, 1 in 110, we need help. The healthcare Bill is just the beginning of improving and providing healthcare for every American. The next task should be providing the promised monies for Autism treatments and research made during your campaign. Mr. President, just make it happen….To kick off your pledge,please Light it Up Blue in the White House next week to show your support to the hundreds of thousands of families affected by Autism.
    many thanks, alyssa morgan fafel

  445. Mr President,

    Jess speaks for us all. Without awareness, our children could be left behind. Please stand with us to raise awareness for Autism. There is so much you can offer with such a simple gesture. Thank you.

  446. Mr. President,

    For the parent who suspects their child has autism, who races to learn all they can to help their child even as the child seems to slip into another world right before their eyes.

    For the parent who has finally heard that crushing diagnosis, yet who clings to every painful word of it as the key to services that their child desperately needs.

    For the child who has to work ten times harder for every little bit of progress and for whom a simple trip to the market can be sensory agony. For the child whose coping strategies elicit stares, glares, pursed lips and wagging heads.

    For the teens and adults who live with autism – after all, it doesn’t go away.

    For the families who do their best to rally around and support their members with autism, changing jobs, relocating, sacrificing income, losing sleep, and loving, loving, loving.

    For my granddaughter, my nephews, my daughter, and for me, please light the White House up blue on April 1 & 2.

  447. Mr. President,
    Please show support of the Autism community and spread awareness by Lighting the White House Blue! It would mean so much to all of us affected by autism to have your support and spread awareness.
    Respectfully,
    Kim

  448. Light it up BLUE! Educate our nation on what autism is, because even the professionals are still in denial or ignorant of the face of autism and have no idea how to begin treatment. As a mother of a two year old daughter diagnosed, I fight every day for the services that she needs. We live in the state of Florida which has an autism mandate, so one would think that is a great thing, but the problem is that my husband is a federal employee working for you and therefore we do not get coverage for my daughter under the state mandate, only congress can direct that coverage. Continue your health care revolution and get our kids the coverage they deserve!

  449. I add my voice to the others here on this blog. Please do what you can to help us raise awareness. My 7-year-old son has autism and I do my best to spread the word online and in person. But I can only affect so many people. But, you, the president of the US? You can influence millions!

  450. Dear Mr. President,
    We are just asking for you to listen to those of us who have to watch our children struggle daily in a world that will not accomodate them. My 7 year old son is Autistic and quite brilliant, but watching him come home defeated after each day because of his challenges is heart breaking. By lighting up the White House you not only show that you support Autism, you show that you too want answers. Most of all you show my son that even the President understands his struggles and wants to find the answers I cannot give. Please, these children are tomorrows leaders, but to get there, we need your help. Thank you.

  451. Light it up blue, Mr. President! Light it up blue and bright!!

  452. Dear Mr. President:
    I have two beautiful young daughters with autism. I am fighting everyday to help make their lives easier. Please help us raise awareness by Lighting the White House Blue. It would mean so much to us. Please help us…

  453. Please Light it up Blue for my brave little boys Dax and Dillon.

  454. Please, Mr. President. My mom is two and doesn’t have the words yet to ask you for himself. He has so few words, to be honest. So I’m speaking for him. Let the world know about him and those like him. Help his light shine by lighting the white house blue. Thank you and God bless.

  455. Dear President,

    As the list grows you can plainly see the love, devotion, commitment so many have for their children and the Autistic Community.

    Please Light Up Blue so that all the challenges, struggles, fears we face not only for our children but for our families can have meaning.

    Autism is not an individual challenge, it is a family and community affair that affects anyone who knows someone with Autism.

    I admire your passion and love for your family, it is obvious you would do anything you possibly could for your children. You are in a position to help so many other families by just letting your voice be heard. Please take a stand and do the right thing. Help America’s children and by helping our country you will raise awareness nationally.

    We are looking forward to April 2nd when the White House turns Blue. Thank you for all and anything you can help the Autistic community with.

  456. Mr. President,
    I have a little boy who is almost three and was diagnosed last year with an ASD…he is an amazing little boy who is the joy of my life! It breaks my heart to watch him strugggle on a daily basis just to do the most basic things, but I am proud of everything that he has accomplished so far. It is such a small request to have the White House lit up blue but it would mean so much to the children and parents…So I ask you Mr. President will you PLEASE light up the White house blue?

  457. beautiful letter, jess. i hope it gets the response that you and so many other parents deserve, i.e. a blue light and the beginning of a conversation. i hope this letter falls on receptive ears, it has to.

  458. Mr. President…We are all fighting for our children. We need more funding to support research to fight autism. The number of kids diagnosed with autism every day is staggering. We need to do SO much more for all of these kids, but it has to start with awareness. Please light the White House blue for our children. Thank you!

  459. Light it up! :)

  460. Dear Mr. President: You speak of change for our nation. What better way to visually show the world that you are still working towards a better America than something as simple as blue lights on your/our home April 2. There are so many needy organizations, causes and ideas that ask for your attention and rightfully should do so, but please join us in getting people talking and educated about autism. Thank you for your time.

  461. Dear Mr. President- To bring Autism Awareness to our nation means that sometime in the future it won’t be such a scary prospect to tell other parents that my child has autism. There are still so many people out there that have no idea about how many of our kids are on the spectrum OR understand the diagnosis. We would like to come out of the shadows. Thank you!

  462. Dear Mr. President,
    Please light the White House Blue on April 2nd for Autism Awareness. We have wonderful friends in our homeschool co-op who are on the autism spectrum.
    We want the world to know more about autism so that they will have a better understanding of how it impacts everyone.
    Thank you and hope to see the White House with some blue lights on April 2nd!

    The Bowers Family

  463. Very moving and well spoken letter. I hope that he reads this letter personally and will listen to the words from the heart.

  464. Dear Mr. President,
    Jess has expressed so eloquently what we deal with all the time as parents of children with autism. My 26 year old son was diagnosed when he was 2. Back then there was so little information, no support groups, few programs, no internet, just a mystery…people would ask was he “artistic?”
    After battling for so many years and trying all kinds of therapies, we are now at place where he is an adult who moved to a group home in June. We are so thankful he is there.We know we are fortunate to have him taken care of. How many young adults and families are not able to have this option. The fight never ends. Our children need to be recognized and understood. Each one is so unique, but all are so challenged to live in the world.
    Please light up the White House blue for all of us! Show us that you care!!
    Sincerely, Carol Dyer

  465. Dear President Obama-
    Please light up the White House blue. For those you know who are affected, for those you don’t know, and for those who will be. 1 in 110 is too many – families are struggling everyday. Show them you care.

  466. I too am a mother of a child with Autism, a proud mother, my son Ricky was diagnosed with Autism PDD at the age of 3, he is 11 years old now, and i dedicate my life and time to all his needs, i became a stay at home mom once i knew what Autism was all about. My husband and I were devastated when we knew what to expect, every parent expect to have the perfect child, not us, if God sent my son to us like that, then he knew he made a good choice as making us parents of my special son. I have 2 other children younger then him and they’re good, but they love their “BBB”, their Big Baby Brother, as my husband nicknamed him that for them. We have come a long way with our son and Thankfully with the love and support from our family and friends we live a happy life. Ricky is a fun loving boy who loves to hug and be hugged, he’s like a huge teddy bear that u just can’t help but to just want to squeeze and love him. He’s sweet very handsome, friendly, and other than me, his mom his BFF, Elmo is his other BFF. In 2008 he started with epileptic seizures, another devastation which i couldn’t handle due to the fact that my son does not talk, so I don’t know when he will actually have one or know what he’s feeling, i know he’s scared i can feel it and i feel so helpless. So please Mr. President hear the cry for all the children with Autism their families and anyone affected by this devastating disorder…LIGHT IT UP BLUE!!!

  467. I too am a mother of a child with Autism, a proud mother, my son Ricky was diagnosed with Autism PDD at the age of 3, he is 11 years old now, and i dedicate my life and time to all his needs, i became a stay at home mom once i knew what Autism was all about. My husband and I were devastated when we knew what to expect, every parent expects to have the perfect child, not us, if God sent my son to us like that, then he knew he made a good choice as making us parents of my special son. I have 2 other children younger then him and they’re good, but they love their “BBB”, their Big Baby Brother, as my husband nicknamed him that for them. We have come a long way with our son and Thankfully with the love and support from our family and friends we live a happy life. Ricky is a fun loving boy who loves to hug and be hugged, he’s like a huge teddy bear that u just can’t help but to just want to squeeze and love him. He’s sweet very handsome, friendly, and other than me, his mom his BFF, Elmo is his other BFF. In 2008 he started with epileptic seizures, another devastation which i couldn’t handle due to the fact that my son does not talk, so I don’t know when he will actually have one or know what he’s feeling, i know he’s scared i can feel it and i feel so helpless. So please Mr. President hear the cry for all the children with Autism their families and anyone affected by this devastating disorder…LIGHT IT UP BLUE!!!

  468. Dear Mr. President

    Please light it up blue at the White House this April. You would send a powerful message that the world needs to see and hear.

    Russell Levine

  469. Dear Mr. President,

    Everyday people fight the good fight, every night a new plan made.

    Please give this community the respect and time it deserves and turn on the blue light!

    It would take so little, and mean so much.

  470. Amen!

  471. Dear President Obama,

    Now more than ever our troops need a commander in chief; a leader of the most dedicated and brave people in the world. All they give to us, willing to lay down their lives for our freedom…

    Our military fight to protect us and our freedom and they selflessly serve the country they love. Can’t you do all in your power to reciprocate and help these brave men and women by protecting and serving the ones they love the most – their children?

    It’s the least that should be done, but it would mean the most.

    -Meg (aka Mom and Aunt of two beautiful kids w/ASD)

    • This is my big sister. She has a son on the spectrum doing remarkably well now at 10. She fought with everything she had to get him the services he needed.

      Sir, I was blessed to have her guidance and wisdom when learning of my own daughter’s autism diagnosis last year during my husband’s third overseas deployment to Afganistan. It was a bittersweet blessing to have autism already a part of our lives.

      Now my husband is reaching his 25th year of military service, Mr. President, and he cannot retire in good conscience purely because TRICARE’s ECHO coverage of autism therapies will disappear for our daughter.

      We need to do better, Mr. President.

      1 in 88, Sir. 1 in 88 active duty children with autism.

      Please Light the White House Blue for our servicemembers and our own shining lights – our precious children.

      Thank you, Sir.

      http://stimcity.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/retirementfree/

  472. This is a beautifully written letter. I am a mom of a 5 year old little boy with Autism. He is also non verbal. I have 93 friends and friends of friends that are wearing blue for Autism on April 2nd in support of my son and children like him. – And like the author of this letter – I would go to the ends of the earth for him – do anything to make his life easier. Because his life is going to be harder than his brother and sisters. Because when I am not here to take care of him anymore – my oldest son will take care of him. He is 11 – we talk about Tyler -we plan for Tyler – he understands – he is compassionate. If the world understood autism more – and the research happens, my children will have a better life. The world recognizes breast cancer- everybody knows what those little pink ribbons mean. Its time for everybody to realize our fight and light it up blue in support of this epidemic. Please Mr. President, light up your house blue in support of all the children around you, because 1 in 110 means you see one everyday – everywhere you go. Do you fully understand Autism? Ask us – we will share our stories because while Autism is a diagnosis – we are all different!

    Thank You
    Annette
    New Hampshire
    Mother of 1 ASD and 2 NT

  473. My little boy was diagnosed with autism last summer. Since then we have been in the fight of our life; fighting against the disabilities that autism brings with it. The most effective treatments and gifts that has been given to us are the PEOPLE who UNDERSTAND him. The best thing we can do for our children is to help people connect with them, to understand them, to be patient and loving towards them. The more people know about autism the more this will happen and our autistic children will live a better life for it.
    Thank you to ALL who will light it up blue and begin discussions with others about what autism means and how it affects our children and our families.

  474. My family is spending this weekend preparing for “Light it up Blue.” Autism is our world. Autism is our war. Autism is our economy. Autism is our health care. Autism is our education. Autism is our school. Autism is our reality.
    To try to express the ongoing need for support, education, understanding and acceptance for the Autism community is exhausting in itself.
    We need a village.
    We need a BLUE village.
    Please support Autism Awareness and the Light it up Blue campaign. It will mean the world to all of us. It will mean the world to me.

  475. I am ashamed to say I did not know about April 2nd until a few minutes ago when I found Jess’s blog for the first time. I WILL be bathing my house in blue lights in support of all the parents and children who struggle daily to make the world make sense and to function safely and happily in it.
    Ashley and family-VA

  476. SALUTE TO GOD,

    my love and peace spread to all autestic peason on this planet.

    i have 20 years of age, son who is autestic. he has twin sister.

    his favrite color is BLUE.

    ” WE ALL WILL PUT SOMUCH BLUE LIGHT BULBS IT WILL GO UP TO
    THE WHITE HOSE IN A blue ray fashion. ”

    so let us do our duty, GOD KEEPS OUR ACCOUNT.

    NEXT TO GOD ONLY WE MOTHER CAN UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER.

    AND OUR AUTESTIC CHILDRE’S FEELING.

    GOD IS BLESSING US.

    REKHA OZA.

  477. I have a 10 year old son and we live in “Scotland Girvan Ayrshire” and would like to ask Such a powerful Man “what wouldn’t you do”? Hopefully he answers that question by taking one small step in awareness by lighting the White House Blue – such a small task to help so many – I hope your listening Mr. President!!!

  478. I have a sister that has autism and I would like you to light up the White House blue for awareness.

  479. I have a sister that has autism and I would really appreciate it if the White House would light it up blue. My sister struggles with many things but has many talents. I’m sure she would appreciate it too. If you can light it up green for St Patrick’s day then surely you can support autism awareness by putting a couple blue lightbalbs in. My sister would realy be greatful. If the White House lights it up blue my sister and I would be very happy. Autism is all around. I’m sure it would make every one with or without autism very happy.

  480. I have thought long and hard about what to post here as a comment. I re-blogged this as a link on my own blog, I shared it on my facebook wall, but words of my own simply would not come…Jess you have said so eloquently what our community needs desperately to be heard. Please Mr. President, for my son, for my cousins, for soo many others, please light the White House up blue?

  481. Dear Mr. President and Mrs. Obama,

    I am writing to you to appeal to you to light the White House Blue for World Autism Awareness Day, April 1st and 2nd. There are several reasons I think this is a great idea.

    I am a military wife and a mom to four great boys. My eldest son, Jack, has high functioning Autism. Did you know that while 1 in 110 children has autism, 1 in 88 military kids has it? I just learned this statistic myself. As a great advocate for Military Families, Mrs. Obama, we’d appreciate your support in this. April is also the month of the military child.

    We are lucky to live in an area where we get good support through our local school, but know many, if not most, families like us are not so fortunate.

    My husband deployed in December. The boys and I are in Northern Virginia. Jack has moved 8 times in his 12 years. You may or may not know that transitions are one of the biggest challenges for Autistic kids. I work very hard to keep our life stable for Jack and his three brothers. We all work hard together and will be lighting our front lights blue for the whole month of April.

    If 1 in 110 kids have been diagnosed, that means at least 9% of the voting public is affected by autism in some way. What a great way to show your support than to light the white house blue for two days! We, the families, would really appreciate the effort.

    It was fun to see that you made the White House fountain green for St. Patrick’s day, so please do this for us.

    We, the autism family community, are counting on you!

    Many thanks,

    http://beentheredonethatmom.blogspot.com/

  482. Dear Mr. President,
    I have been a big supporter of yours. As a parent of two beautiful healthy young girls I hope you take this opportunity to show support for those of us who have a challenge everyday raising children who are on the spectrum. It seems if the white house can have a green fountain for St. Patrick’s day, blue lights for such an important cause would be such a show of support. Thank you in advance for your support.

    Melissa Scott

  483. Jess, you are inspiring and amazing. I have been following “Diary of a Mom” for months now and I honestly feel like we are sitting at our kitchen tables having coffee together when I ready your posts. My son is 3 1/2 and we received our “diagnosis” a year ago.

    President Obama,
    Words will never be written to make you truly understand what it is like to live in a family with an autistic child. I babysat a non-verbal child for a few years when I was in high school and thought that I “got” how hard his life..and the life of his parents and sibling…was every single day. The day we were told that my son had a high functioning autism spectrum disorder, I realized I never truly “got” it a at all.
    Autism needs attention…and not just the light bulbs…it needs a big fat spotlight shined on the medical industry that is completely turning it’s backs on our children. When children are diagnosed with cancer or other possibly terminal diseases, medical teams are formed to fight with all they have to save that child…to find a miracle…whatever it takes.
    When a child is classified as having a spectrum disorder, looks of pity are handed out and doctors can’t seem to push you out the door fast enough with a list of therapists that might be able to help your child. This disorder is taking the lives of our children and leaving us with pieces of them to hold onto and try to comfort – all the while trying to put them back together again. Our childrens’ disorders may not be terminal, but we are losing them and we really need the entire medical and political community to step up and save their lives…as they would a child with cancer.

    The least you can do is Light Up Blue…but, we deserve a much bigger light from your administration. BE the CHANGE that we believed you would be in our kid’s lives.

    You are blessed with children who are healthy and happy…so, you will never truly “get” where we are coming from and the long road we have in front of us. Take our words to heart and make our road a little easier to navigate.

    Thanks again, Jess, for lighting a fire of hope in all of us!
    Rebecca

  484. Dear Mr. President… The blue bulbs are only $1.65 at home depo :) Such a small price to make such a HUGE statement. C’mon now, light it up blue!

  485. Mr. President-

    Our plight, as parents, is heartbreaking. We fight every day to get our children the help they NEED and the help they DESERVE. I dare say, you will find no stronger group of parents, as those who’s children have been affected with special needs.

    Please help us give a voice to those who have no voice, and to those who struggle to “find the right words.”

    My son is 8, and was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome last year, although we began suspecting it when he was in kindergarten. He needs YOUR help…he needs someone with a voice that will be heard. Mr President…my son, and all others with Autism NEED YOU.

    Please, please help. Make the White House, the BLUE HOUSE. Bring more awareness…and more kindness to those who have this disability.

    Sincerely,
    Kerry

  486. Mr President,
    Please do the autism world a favor and light up your house blue.. Its only for a day. It would be greatly appreciated and great for a public figure such as yourself to contribute to the awareness of Autism. My son is 2 and is newly diagnosed and people are so unaware of what Autism really is. Help us raise awareness!

    Best Regards,
    Holly Robison
    St. Louis, Michigan

  487. [...] [Following is my letter/post. It doesn't take long to leave a comment, but could the result would mean a lot. You write one too. JUST CLICK HERE.] [...]

  488. Do it for the children. Through awareness, parents will be able to recognize the signs earlier. The earlier autism is detected, the better a child’s chance of improvement in language, social and motor skills. Who wouldn’t support that!?

  489. Mr. President: This is a matter you can address with so little effort and so little time and so little money and SO MUCH IMPACT–the lives of millions of Americans in families with spectrum disorders. All of them and all of us who know and love them petition you to respond by lighting up BLUE on April 2. Who knows the positive reverberations that may be felt around the world–for a world of children–by your gesture of love and support?!
    jnb

  490. Please, Mr. President. Bring awareness to this epidemic that affects my son and my family like so many others.

  491. [...] Light It Up Blue! Autism Awareness Day April 2 Published March 29, 2011 Latest Post Leave a Comment On April 2, 2011, the world will join together in observation of the Fourth Annual World Autism Awareness Day.  And as “Mommy Blogger” states in her blog called “Diary of a Mom”: “This day exists because it has to.  Because our children’s ranks are now growing in undeniably epidemic proportions.  Because 1 in 110 children are now on the autism spectrum.”  Here’s her link, which will take you to a wonderful letter she wrote the president of the United States on behalf of all of us: http://lightthewhitehouseblue.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/this-is-my-autism/ [...]

  492. Mr. President,

    1 in 110 Americans is a statistic that we cannot ignore. The rate of incidence is increasingly dramatically, and we need to get help to these children and their families. Please show your support.

  493. Dear Mr. President,

    I have a son who is almose five years old and he has non-verbal autism. He is a happy and healthy child. I don’t know if he will ever main steam into a school in a few years. I hope that with research and studies they will find a cure, so this could possibly happen. This can only be done through bring awareness to Autism or ASD. I urge you to light up the White House Blue for all of the children and families that are affected by Autism. “Light It Up Blue” Make a difference and Shine a light on Autism.

  494. Mr President, please shine a light on autism. Light it up blue for my grandson and every child that cannot speak for themselves. We are their voice raising awareness around the world. Please include the White House among all the other renowned and prominent buildings and locations around the world to Light It Up Blue.
    Regards,
    Nana

  495. Mr. President,
    Please light it up Blue,show all us that you care

  496. Thank you for writing this! As a fellow parent I agree with everything you said. We all need to stand together and ask the world to notice the epidemic all around us!

  497. Jace, our son, was diagnosed 11/24/2009. The Specialist who diagnosed him said in 10 years there would be over 20 million people walking around w/Autism. Make the “no child left behind” mean more than education. Early detection is the key. More awareness is key to more answers. Please, please show your support. Thank you.

  498. As more and more young people are diagnosed with autism, our collective awareness needs to increase as well. Not only do we need tolerance but total acceptance and in many instances realize that we can learn a thing or two from our friends, neighbors and children with autism.

  499. Jess, I struggled with joining this plight, but I came to my senses. You can read the whole thing at http://oursilentmovie.blogspot.com/2011/03/take-notice.html
    Here is an excerpt, “So, Mr. President, our budget may never be balanced, our health care may still be in crisis, and we still may be at war, but…there will STILL be autism. It would be a disservice to every citizen of this country if we did not make them aware of autism. If people do not become aware of this now, how will they ever be able to understand it and accept it in the future when they will be surrounded by it?
    Mr. Obama, won’t you Light It Up Blue, too? ”
    by Just Wanna Be Mom

  500. Jess,
    Thank you for the beautiful letter. My family will be lighting up blue on April 1-2 for autism awareness. I have asked President Obama everyday this past month to light the White House blue on the White House blog. I have even e-mailed him about it also. I hope he will listen to all of us! It would be something for the entire world to see if he would show support for all those around the globe that are struggling with autism everyday. I’m lighting up blue for my darling little granddaughter and for all the other children with autism.

  501. [...] Too much urgency. Mr. President, PLEASE. Anything. Dye the damn dog blue. At this point I’ll take it. Just a sign. PLEASE, sir, we need this. [...]

  502. I will light it up blue, will you? My son is 10 and has PDD-NOS. Please help.

  503. Dear Mr President:

    When a woman becomes a mom there are three things happening at the same time
    1. the heart inflates and pumps real love
    2. a roller coaster ride
    3. no sleep and when she gets to sit down to eat the food is already cold

    when a woman becomes a mom of an autistic kids no matter where in the spectrum this things happen

    1. all of the above plus a lot of tears…. and more tears along the way
    2. acceptance or denial, worry about the future
    3. bullying in school, camps and playgrounds
    4. cost of therapy, school, socialization, biomedical intervention, supplements, gluten casein diets and sadly but a high rate of divorce because one of the partners cannot deal with what autism is.

    a blue light on the white house….. on this significant day is a feel of teamwork to keep building our America, autism is a different way to see and interpret the world yes there are people that need support all their lives and we need to teach kids, parents, teachers, doctors, friends ectt to understand what autism is and on the other hand after all the high functioning autistic individuals will be the future of this country, the husbands and wives and if the opportunity is given the professionals of tomorrow.
    thank you
    Mr President

    sincerely Geselle Acevedo from Fort Lauderdale

  504. We are asking for a lightbulb change not money, not a cure, not even a personal comment from Mr. President. My neighbors have done it. It couldn’t be any easier to make all of us weary parents gain a little strength. How could you not do something so easy to lend support to so many. PLEASE. Thank you.

  505. President Obama – Please light up the White House blue for this important cause! My son is 4 and has autism and he is the sunshine in my sky, but his challenges are great. For him, and for ALL of them, please….

    Lori Carroll, SC

  506. I too hope that the White House is lit up blue for Autism Awareness Day. This is an incredibly important cause, and would mean so much to so many families.

  507. This would be a wonderful gesture to show your support…

  508. Light up your house for our Timothy!

  509. I don’t have any family members with Autism but I do know many families who have been affected by it. It’s a often misunderstood condition and it is vital that we do all we can to raise awareness about its effects. You’re visible support would be a huge boost for this cause.

  510. Mr. President,
    Make it blue.

  511. I am a mother of two neuro-typical sons. I am also a preschool teacher. I have been teaching preschool in CT for nearly 20 years and within the last 10 of those years, have seen a dramatic increase in the number of children I am referring to pre-school services for evaluation. The number of children that I am seeing present with autistic tendencies has risen significantly and it is something our nation needs to be aware of, and supportive of. Please, Mr. President, help spark that support, not only in our communities, but all over our nation. These parents need help.. these children need understanding… they both have a lot to offer.

  512. We have a 14 year old son, William, with Autism, thank you for all you are doing to get support for our children! Hoping we will see a bunch of blue houses on Saturday!

  513. Mr President,
    The neurotypical population must spread awareness, be more understanding and accomodating so individuals with autism spectrum disorder can find their rightful place in society. Various groups here in India are doing their bit, lighting up important buildings on 2nd April, 2011 and spreading awareness. Individuals with autism are in every country, every race, every community. As a World leader show the world that you care for these individuals without a voice. A small step, a simple gesture, the lighting up the White House House in Blue on the World Autism Awareness Day will surely accelerate the awareness program for Autism.

    Mitu De, Kolkata, India

  514. I have 2 daughters on the Autism Spectrum. One is moderately impacted. She has few words and struggles each day with communication. The other is considered high functioning. She is incredibly smart but frequently has difficulty with social situations and often tantrums about things that just don’t require this type of reaction. Both girls are challenging in their own ways. I love them and would do anything for them. If I were President I would light it up blue but alas I am not so I hope that President Obama chooses to help me out and show his support by lighting the House blue on April 2nd

  515. [...] means to get us there. I would like to thank each and every one of you who lent words of support, left comments on my wife’s letter to the president and went out and lit it up blue last [...]

  516. [...] HERE <– to see a few). But until we have the attention – and the hearts – of those with the power to affect change that help will not come. Until we heal the divide in this community and begin to treat one another [...]

  517. Jess – don’t know if you are still reading all of your individual replies on this post, but IF you are… I wanted to let you know how good it felt to take our 9 yr old Aspie to the White House today and to watch her proudly show off her puzzle-piece sigh, and to learn to advocate for herself and “her people.” I’d love to send you a picture of her doing just that, if there is a good place to send it, respecting your need for anonymity.

    Hugs to you and yours from DC today!

  518. Dear Mr. President,

    Autism Does Not Define Me… but promoting acceptance, compassion, education and understanding for those with Autism and Asperger’s is a passion of mine.

    I am the mom to two amazing kiddos traveling along the autism spectrum. I am also an Aspie and a spectrum traveler.

    I wrote this poem in honor of my children and in celebration of my own self-acceptance.

    I wanted to share it with you, news media, social networking groups and anyone around this world who finds it speaks to them…

    Autism Does Not Define Me…

    Accept me for who I am,
    Understand that I may not always get what you’re saying.
    Trust that God has me here for a reason;
    I am an amazing human being.
    Socially, I might not fit in with society’s expectations.
    Mentoring can help me along the way.

    Don’t forget that I have feelings even if I don’t express them.
    Opportunities for my happiness are indeed possible.
    Educate and encourage me without prejudice.
    Show patience and kindness along the way.

    Never give up trying to “get” me
    Ostracizing me will just shut me down.
    Take time to try and come into my world.

    Defining me as my diagnosis ignores my essence and best qualities.
    Emerging talents may arise when you least expect them.
    Friendship and honesty is valued to me more than you can imagine.
    I am in need of love and tenderness too.
    Never let me give up, especially when you see my mood shift.
    Expect the unexpected and watch me enrich your life.

    Many people will read this and I pray millions will act.
    Embrace and empower someone with Autism today.

    Autism Does Not Define Me

    Written 4/8/2010, copyright 2010, Karen Krejcha

  519. Well… it looks a little better when it’s formatted correctly but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless. I invite you to also check out my blog at http://www.aspierations.blogspot.com

    Thank you!

  520. [...] sure that if her husband needed some advocacy work, she would be right there working her magic.  Jess is in Washington D.C. –- yes, at the White House for the autism meeting in honor of Autism Awareness Month. Go read her [...]

  521. [...] Ed note .. You can read my letter to President Obama –> HERE <– [...]

  522. I know this is a long time after but I thought you might like to see what happened in Sydney Australia for light it up blue, the link was posted today.

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.103046956454816.5058.103041123122066

  523. The most amiable people are those who least wound the self-love of others.

  524. [...] If you want to know why the president needs to light the White House blue in April. This is My Autism. [...]

  525. [...] my letter to the president [...]


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