Dear President Obama,

On April 2, hundreds of thousands of American families like mine — and millions more around the world — whose lives are touched by autism will celebrate World Autism Awareness Day. This is a rare chance for us to highlight the ways our loved ones with autism enrich our lives every day, and also to remind the world that autism is an enormous public health crisis that requires urgent action on a broad scope. Turning the White House lights blue would highlight this cause and crisis in a way no other simple gesture could.

My request is very personal. Several years ago my grandson Christian was a happy little boy, full of boundless curiosity and love for life. He would often greet me by running into to my arms and yelling “Mor Mor! I love you! Hi!” We would sit and talk and examine his toys together and discuss them… “this is a red truck – what does it do? That’s right. It puts out fires.”

Christian was about two then. He seemed to be developing into a bright and beautiful child. But then one day I asked him to pick out his favorite truck. He looked straight ahead, ignoring me. I asked him again and he walked away. I followed him to the corner of the room where he was standing, fixated on a pattern on the wall. I got down on one knee and I asked him to look at me, and he turned his head. In that moment I knew that something was wrong. Shortly after that day, my conversations with Christian stopped, and his laughing and playing were quickly replaced by slapping and screaming.

In the years since Christian’s autism diagnosis we have learned a lot. We have learned that there is no quick fix. But with determination, patience and a whole lot of love, we can and will make progress.

I know and appreciate that you truly understand the challenges our families are facing.  Under your leadership, the federal government is taking some important steps to address the dire need for more resources dedicated to autism awareness, research, treatment and services.

Our grandson, Christian, is one of the beautiful children whose faces will light up as never before if you make this incredibly important gesture.  There are thousands of remarkable, talented adults with autism who would line up to help you flip that light switch on April 2.

You can elevate awareness of autism to an entirely new level by lighting the White House blue on April 2. You will be sending a powerful message to the American people, and the entire global community, that autism is a prime public health issue and that your administration is rising to meet this challenge in every way possible.

I join families across the country in asking you to elevate our cause and celebrate our loved ones with autism.

Suzanne Wright, grandmother of a beautiful boy with autism



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  1. Yes, I, too am a grandmother of an autistic young boy. There’s a saying, ‘If you save one person you save a nation.’ Perhaps autism can’t be cured yet,but with research perhaps it can be in the future.

  2. I also have a grandson that is autistic. He means just as much to me as much as my other grandchildren. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to be allowed to attend his therapy sessions in which he learned to walk and interact. How blessed I feel to be a part of his life!!!

  3. I miss my happy go lucky son Luke

  4. I Very excited about this i am praying this goes through i got my daughters class to wear blue april 1 the teacher said yes

  5. I am a very proud grandmother of a granddaughter who is Autistic. She has Aspergers. She was born at 26 weeks weighing one pound 13 oz.

    She is truly a gift. Although a cure has not been found, progress is being made to help these wonderful gifted children, men and women. As a nation we need to learn more about these people and help make their lives easier instead of making fun of them and turning our backs.

    Stand proud America for our very special gifts.

  6. I too am a proud grandmother of an 8 yr. old non-verbal grandson with autism – while he’s never spoken, I will never give up hope that someday he may – he has come a long way in thanks to a very devoted set of parents who will stop at nothing to get him all the help they can.
    While autism has gotten more publicity over the years, there are still so many people who just don’t “understand.” we must remain vigilant to get these children whatever help they can.

  7. I am a mom of an autistic son. He is 16 now but was diagnosed with autism when he was 3. But we had him in a special pre-school from the age of 18 months. It has been a long and difficult road. I am lucky he is higher functioning. I give alot of credit to those whose kids are not. I hope that someone will decide that this is an epidemic that needs more attention.

  8. I too am a grandma of a beautiful 4 year old grandson. He was diagnosed at age 2 with aspergers. My son and his wife are raising 4 other children as well. Lucas has taught us patience, love, tolerance, and so so much more. He has taught us to laugh in ways we never have. He is a comedian. Unfortunatelu, he has his trying days as well, filled with miss understanding, melt downs, and stares. We need to make people aware that autism is on the rise in this country every year. Light the White House Blue for Autism Awareness for Lucas, who’s favorite color is blue, and all the families with loved ones on the autism spectrum

  9. I,too, am a grandmother of an autistic grandson. Kody is truly a blessing sent from above. He is 7 now and finally the speach is coming. It brings such joy to hear him say,”hi maw, lobe you”.

  10. I also am a Grandmother of an autistic Grandson who I just began raising in Mid 2010, had him tested, was diog. in Nov.2011..started PreSchool Special need’s on his 3rd Birthday.He was special from the start,,My Leap year now a beautiful Big boy..:-)

    • Hi,I just had to reach out to you.I too am raising my five year old grandson Sam.He was diagnosed around age two.It’s been dificult at times but he is truley the love of my life.I feel blessed to have the honor of raising him.He is high functioning and I thank god for that-my heart goes out to those who are not as fortunate as I am.It can be a challange to raise a grandchild and even more so to raise one with a disability-but I never considered not doing it for one minute.I am blessed to have him as you are to have yours.

      • i do have a grandson ethan who is 2 1/2 who was diagnosed in Jan 2011. i watch him everyday and we have the speech therapist, sp. ed teacher and occ. therapist comin in 3 days a week. he is the love of my life. i love when he snugles with me. can’t wait to hear him say mema. i am also blessed to have him in my life.

  11. Yes, Our grandaughter is austic, she is no less than our other grandchilden or yours. We love her dearly. Please if you could rent the movie Dr.Temple Grandin, you will see that these children have wonderful minds.

  12. I thank everyone out there in the nation trying to speak out for people to understand children with autism and families that are going through this.
    I have a son who has Aspergers Syndrome and even though it is the milder form of Autism, it is still a challange everyday for my son and our family.

  13. Proud Booboo (Grandma) to Isabella, age five and on the autism spectrum.

  14. I too have a wonderful loving grandson with autism. Brandon is 6 years old and was diagnosed at 2 years old. These children need a lot of support and it would be wonderful if the president of our nation do this little gesture to show his support. It has been a very challenging four years and brandon can show his love for his family without speaking a word. Very lucky grandma of my little Brandon.

  15. My grandson Isaeus was diagnosed with Autism when he turn 2 he was a normal baby till he turn one my daughter and I strogle everyday with him and his temper he takes it out on my daughter hitting her , pulling her hair its not easy because he doesnt speak so its hard for him to tell us what he wants so he gets frustrated. Thank god for his therapy and the vest that he wears that calms him down. Isaeus is a very loving child we need to get more help for the kids with autism we need more awareness…. Thank you very much The Grandmother of a Beautiful little boy with Autism.

  16. Proud Mama to Benjamin, age two and was just diagnosed with Autistic Disorder. He lights up my life everyday of the year!

  17. I also have a grandson with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. No matter what we choose to call it…it is still very real and always there. My grandson showed signs of autism at 6 months but wasn’t diagnosed until he was until he was close to 2 years. He was 4 this January and we were blessed at the end of last summer when he began to speak. He is now talking all the time and we never say “please be quiet” He has trouble with stimming all the time. He hums, rubs his fingers together and runs back and forth. It interferes with everything he tries to do. we do need to stand up and be heard. I am hoping on April 2nd we are heard.

  18. We are also blessed with a special grandson, Carter, age 10, who was diagnosed with autism at age 2. He is the joy of our life and even though he may never be entirely like other kids, we are so grateful for the progress he has made and what he has yet to learn. We love the hugs that we now get that were not there for several years. Our daughter is a single mom of three other boys younger than Carter and is doing a fantastic job raising her four boys. Thank you, Lord for all nine of our grandchildren…each unique in their own way.

  19. I too am a grandmother of an autistic child. Ethan is the most precious little boy. His smile lights up a room. When he just wants to snuggle and watch his favorite show, I drop what I am doing just to have him sit on my lap so we can watch it together. He is talking yet but I’m waiting for the day I hear him call say meme, I love you. I also am hoping on April 2nd we are heard.

  20. I too have a grandson who has Aspergers, a form of autism, and he faces a lot of problems. The worst is the bullying that is allowed in the school systems. He is almost 19 and he graduated with 4. from high school, which he had to do online. He deserves all the help he can get.

  21. I to have a grandson with autism and he means the world to me 🙂

  22. I am a mother to a wonderful 4 yr old son on the autism spectrum he is a gift .and we do need to raise awareness even though I do not expect a cure soon the therapy’s and the need for more is so important I believe with more therapy’s and intervention a lot of children can be higher functioning that without this will stay at a lower function we do need supported please light blue these kids will amaze everyone in the future but need help now

  23. My son is autistic and he is the light of our home, I am spreading the word to my coworkers and friends that on April 2nd we celebrate the Autism Awareness day, hoping to be heard and to find the cure for it!

  24. I am not a parent nor a grand parent of a child with autism. i am an adult, who once was a child with autism spectrum. it was is not the most sever case of autism but it has inpacted every aspect of my life and those of my loving friends and faimly. i was not properly diagnossed until about two months ago. this shows that not enough medical professionals are aware of the sighns and syptoms of varietys of this disorer that are not concidered to be the norm. but as a seinor in high school with only two months left until i have finished i must say that their is a way. I WILL DEFFINETLY BE DRESSED IN BLUE!! autism is not a thing to hide it is a thing to be seen and learned about.

  25. I’m very touched by these words. As the father a 10-year old boy in Laos I’m trying to get autism known also in this underdeveloped country. The Government has not the means to support persons with autism as in the US or other developed countries. So I joined forces with other parents. We try ourselves to encourage families with persons with ASD and we are proud of being able to provide education to some of the kids. Everything is a first in this country and we would wish to able able to do much more.

  26. I have a Grandson with asperger. I love him so much! He is a special boy, he will turn 13 years old in July. He loves for me to take him out to eat or spend the day with him, and I enjoy every moment with him. I pray that someday there will be more opportunity for him, and all the autistic kids.

  27. I am the grandmother of a precious 7 year grandson, Ian. He was diagnosed at the age of 3. I can’t imagine life without this bubbly little boy even on the harder days when the meltdowns are terrible, to say the least.
    My entire family will be dressed in blue, my home lighted in blue and we will be attending an Autistic Walk in West Virginia. I hope everyone will help support our families by wearing blue and lighting their houses also..including our president and his family.
    May God Bless each and everyone of you.
    Ian says “Thank you”

  28. My son was diagnosed in March 1989. He was not quite 3 then and is now nearly 25 years old. There is a growing number of adults with autism/aspergers and so much ignorance out there and a severe lack of adult services. These chcildren grow up and we must keep fighting for them – even when they are taller and stronger than we are physically.

  29. My family has been touced by autism, we have a 8yr old son that was diagnosed at the age of 1 with autism spectrum, we love him so much, he is a amazing little boy that brings joy to everyone that knows him. We need to have more available school and special education teachers to help our children. Due to the lack of funding and improperly trained teachers of children are the ones who suffer. Its been a long road for my family, but with patience love and determination we are going to make it. Anna

  30. I am not a parent or grand parent of an Autistic child.
    But I do share with you. I have friends whw have Autistic children and I work in public schools with Autistic students.
    I will try to get everyon there to wear Blue. Uniform school, so may have to have blue ribbons to pin on. I have blue lights in my windows for local Police. And now for Autistic.
    Hope this appeal works out.
    Remember April 2 and all of the other days for these beautiful people.

  31. I am the mother of a 10 year old daughter with Aspergers Syndrome and Anxiety Disorder. Through therapy she has taken HUGE steps while obtaining the skills to function in life. With every step she makes I shed a tear because it has been a long and emotional journey for us. As an infant, I didn’t understand her and had never seen an infant like her. I had never heard of Aspergers and knew nothing about Autism Spectrum Disorders back then. Public ventures were a nightmare. She would scream cry through grocery stores as soon as we walked in the door. No matter how hard I tried I could not soothe her and left feeling like a terrible parent because of others comments and looks. People with blonde hair could not step within five feet of her because she would start scream crying. When she became of school age that presented whole new fears. She would have to be monitored on the playground out of fear of her wondering away. Once she left the playground and they found her in the music room playing. I was so greatful that she was alright because they had stopped her many times from wondering away from school. Once we got through this she then went through wanting to show her independence by walking home alone. The problem with this was her lack of understanding the dangers. It took many years of training her that cars are dangerous. She had no concept that if one were to hit her she could die from it. Everyday little things that we take for granted are big hurdles for these children. Knowing what to do is not common sense for them it is something that they have to work at learning. PLEASE take the time to make this statement and raise awareness. Do it for the children and families who live everyday with the AWARENESS of AUTISM.

  32. I am the grandmother of 2 boys both are showing sings of autism. Both will having a full battery of test in the middle of April, the doctors have already said the test are just a formality and she feels the resluts will show both to be autistic.

    • this is a wonderful website for information support and encouragement. I have a 4 year old grandson with autism. I know the diagnosis can be devasting at first. But when you look into those little eye staring up at you all you feel is love. Trust me they will teach you alot of things. I found the best way to help my grandson is to listen to every word he says, every sign he makes, and especially is mood and what happend before and after the mood change. This will tell you alot. My prayers go out to you and your family and if you would like to talk grandmother to grandmother don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Grandmothers supporting Autism Awareness.
      Teresa Steppe

      • Teresa

        Thank you for your words of encouragement. I have thought that my youngest grandson was autistic but was a little supprised when they told me the older one maybe autistic as well. Both of them have other problems as well so it has made things more difficult

  33. I also have a grandson who is 12 years old and autistic. His name is Nicky. He is the light in my life. My daughter had him when she was 20 years old. We knew he was different, and found out he was autistic at the age of 4. My daughter took it hard first, but she has excepted how he is. He is a very loving child. He’ll talk to us when he needs or wants something. When he was a little boy we showed him love by hugging and holding him. Today he still likes to be hugged and held. We have learn a lot from him and we would never trade him back! We just love him.


  35. I have a grandson that is great and he has aspberger syndrome and because the school system and some teachers we have. We have decided that I as his grandma and one teacher to help will be home schooling him he is intelligent and they are not challanging him and has labeled him in front of other children and I love being around him he is loving.I will put up a blue light on April 2

  36. MANY grandparents leaving reminders to Light It Up Blue – incredible there are so many of us, but wonderful to see all the support for our cherished children and grandchildren. My twin grandsons and their little brother are on the spectrum – fortunate to have exceptional parents, teachers, tutors and friends, due to increasing public awareness in the last few years. Still, research and family- resource funding lags, as well as public education/inclusion – there is much work ahead. Please encourage everyone, including our nation’s WHITE HOUSE, to shine BLUE LIGHTS on April 1st and 2nd – actually, why not the entire month?!?!

  37. I agree with Mary Donham. Raising awareness for autism should not be limited to a couple days or one month. Lord knows our children and grandchildren are dealing with this disorder every day. That is why I will not only be Lighting It Blue starting April 1st but wiLl have my light on outside every day for as long as my grandson, Lucas is on the spectrum and until there is a cure. I would encourage everyone to do the same.

  38. We’re counting on you, Mr. President.

  39. I am a PROUD MOM of a daughter with Autism!

    Let’s see this change you speak of!


  40. […] for autism awareness” blog that features incredible posts from Jess, Mrs. Sergeant Major, Suzanne, Kerry, Wills, Laura and […]

  41. […] blue for autism awareness” blog that features incredible posts from Jess, Mrs. Sergeant Major, Suzanne, Kerry, Wills, Laura and […]

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