All across the nation Tuesday night, landmarks and skyscrapers were illuminated in blue lights in recognition of World Autism Awareness Day.
This is the sixth year April 2 has been dedicated to raising awareness of a disorder now afflicting, according to the CDC, one of every 88 children born in the U.S.
"It just makes me upset sometimes," says 10-year-old Jake, who lives with his parents in Montgomery County, Md.
His mother, Jenn Lynn, is a former television news producer who now writes a blog on parenting children with autism.
"It's total therapy for me," says Lynn.
She calls her blog, “The World According To Jake.”
"I get people from all over the world who will email me and say, 'Oh my gosh, this is great. What are you doing about this?' There are so many people that need help out there. I can't even grasp it in my brain,” she says.
Jake seems to love that his parents call his autism, diagnosed when he was a toddler, his super powers.
"Jake has such sensory issues and a lot of kids with autism have huge sensory issues," Lynn says. "So he sees things that I don't see. He hears things that I don't hear. He smells things that I don't smell. So he is a superhero. But managing all those sensory issues in a day is really tricky."
On this day, Lynn says she would like us to do more than just be aware of autism.
"I have no idea what every individual family needs because our needs are all different,” she says. “But just call someone you know that has a kid with autism and give them an hour of time so they can go to the grocery store or they can go have a coffee with someone or they can go and just get out of the house and away from the craziness of day-to-day living with autism."
And she says don't judge. Just pay a compliment instead.
"All parents of kids with autism need to hear that they're doing a good job,” says Lynn.” A million times. It's really hard."
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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