Return to Headlines

Light It Up Blue for Autism Awareness

Light It Up Blue for Autism Awareness

Light it up blue for autism awareness
Roxbury is Lighting It Up Blue on Friday, April 12th! Students, staff, administrators and community members were all encouraged to wear blue as a sign of acknowledgment and acceptance of our students with autism and in celebration of our differences.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. Signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills’ and sensory sensitivities. Again, a person on the spectrum might follow many of these behaviors, just a few, or many others besides.
April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month promotes acceptance and celebration of people with autism as family members, friends, classmates, co-workers, and community members making valuable contributions to our world. Understanding autism starts at a young age, and there is no greater place than our school’s to teach children about differences, acceptance, and understanding. Autism is a natural variation of the human experience, and we can all create a world which values, includes, and celebrates all kinds of minds.
Fast Facts about Autism:
  • Prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 59 births.
  • More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder.
  • Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability.
  • Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.
  • Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
  • Minority groups tend to be diagnosed later and less often.
  • Autism services cost U.S. citizens $236-262 billion annually.
  • The U.S. cost of autism over the lifespan ranges from about $1.4 to 2.4 million for a person.
  • Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention.

What are Roxbury Public Schools doing to celebrate this month?

  • On Friday, April 12th, the whole district will Light it Up Blue! Students, staff, administrators and community members are all encouraged to wear blue as a sign of acknowledgment and acceptance of our students with autism and in celebration of our differences.
  • Necessary services and supports provided to students with autism can be a costly burden to families. In order to show our support, each Friday in April that school will be in session, we will be fundraising for state, local and community charities and organizations who support students with autism.  If you want to show your support and solidarity for the charity or organization chosen by your school, you can donate $2 or an amount of your choice in exchange for wearing blue jeans for the day.

Books about Autism

  • Elementary School Students
    • Andy and His Yellow Frisbee by Mary Thompson
    • Russell is Extra Special by Charles Amenta, III
    • Captain Tommy by Abby Ward Messner
    • My Best Friend Will by Jamie Lowell and Tara Tuchel
    • Ian's Walk-A Story about Autism by Laurie Lears and Karen Ritz
    • The Autism Acceptance Book by Ellen Sabin
    • Tobin Learns to Make Friends by Diane Murrell
    • Taco's Anyone by Marvie Ellis and Jenny Loehr
    • Keisha's Doors by Marvie Ellis
    • Nobody Knew What to Do: A Story about Bullying by Becky McCain
    • A is for Autism by Jennifer Bloink
    • In Jesse’s Shoes by Beverly Lewis
    • My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete
    • Looking After Louis by Lesley Ely


  • Middle-High School Students
    • Of Mice and Aliens by Kathy Hoopman
    • Buster and the Amazing Daisy by Nancy Ogaz
    • Lisa and the Lace Maker by Kathy Hoopman
    • Wishing on the Midnight Star by Nancy Ogaz
    • Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon
    • A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
    • Clay by Colby Rodowsky
    • Haze by Kathy Hoopman
    • To OZ and Back: A Bones and Duchess Mystery by Alexandra Eden
    • A Wizard Alone: The Sixth Book in the Young Wizards Series by Diane Duane
    • The Wright and Wong Mystery Series by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz


Movies about Autism

  • Life Animated
  • Autism the Musical
  • Best Kept Secret
  • Family Next Door
  • Rain Man
  • Jack and the Red Hearts
  • Autism in Love The Story of Luke