Dis­clo­sure: This post is being donat­ed as part of a Blog­gin’ Mamas social good cam­paign. All opin­ions expressed are our own. 

Since April is World Autism Month, we’ve decid­ed to #Light­I­tUp­Blue with Autism Speaks to increase under­stand­ing and aware­ness of autism. Autism per­son­al­ly touch­es our fam­i­ly and team, and we have worked with sev­er­al clients offer­ing ben­e­fi­cial options and pro­grams to assist chil­dren with autism and their fam­i­lies. It’s high­ly like­ly that you know some­one with autism too since the CDC esti­mates autism’s preva­lence as 1 in every 68 chil­dren in the Unit­ed States.

Autism refers to a range of con­di­tions char­ac­ter­ized by chal­lenges with social skills, repet­i­tive behav­iors, speech and non­ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion, as well as by unique strengths and dif­fer­ences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions of genet­ic and envi­ron­men­tal influ­ences.

Autism’s most obvi­ous signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cas­es, it can be diag­nosed as ear­ly as 18 months. Autism Speaks encour­ages par­ents with con­cerns to seek eval­u­a­tion with­out delay, as ear­ly inter­ven­tion can improve out­comes.

The “Light It Up Blue” cam­paign is about more than aware­ness — it is about increas­ing under­stand­ing and accep­tance of autism.  This includes advo­ca­cy and sup­port for peo­ple across the entire spec­trum through­out their lives. It also includes advanc­ing research into per­son­al­ized treat­ments for autism and relat­ed con­di­tions.  I encour­age you test your under­stand­ing of autism by tak­ing this quiz!

Cer­tain med­ical and men­tal health issues fre­quent­ly accom­pa­ny autism. They include GI dis­or­ders, seizures, sleep dis­tur­bances, atten­tion deficit and hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der (ADHD), anx­i­ety and pho­bias.

You can help make a dif­fer­ence too by tak­ing the Light It Up Blue Quiz to see how much you know about autism. If you’re moved to do so after vis­it­ing AutismSpeaks.org, please show your sup­port for and under­stand­ing of the chal­lenges faced by indi­vid­u­als with autism by shar­ing a pho­to to #Light­I­tUp­Blue for Autism Aware­ness Month too. Also, check out Autism Speaks’ nation­wide cal­en­dar of autism-friend­ly friend­ly events and activ­i­ties in April.