Are We Doing Autism Awareness All Wrong?


Yesterday was Light It Up Blue day for Autism Awareness, but today in Forbes, science, health and parenting columnist Emily Willingham writes that we should forget about the gesture. One, she says it supports Autism Speaks which Willingham has claimed in the past stigmatizing and demonizes autistic people.

Second, beyond Willingham’s personal and controversial thoughts on this matter, she has a point about awareness campaigns in general that aim to accomplish the basic minimum: Awareness but nothing more. She writes:

In the case of autism, the exhortation of the day, courtesy of Autism Speaks, will be to “light it up blue,” and powers that be around the globe will cause world-famous landmarks to do just that. Because nothing says, “I really care about autistic people,” like going to the trouble to install blue lights on tall buildings and then flipping them on for a few hours. Presumably, the world will then be led to wonder, “Why is the Leaning Tower of Pisa blue today?” and eagerly turn to the Internet for answers, learning for the first time that a condition called “autism” exists. Awareness achievement unlocked. All done.

But you can do some real work that can make a real difference for autistic people (read here on using “autistic”), something that goes beyond sartorial expression, social media tricks or light bulb purchases…. will encounter many a call for “autism awareness.” Have you heard about autism yet? OK. So you’re aware. Step one is low, and you’ve mastered it. Now for the steeper climb. For autistic people, awareness is not the goal at this point–acceptance is.

We can see her point.

A lot of adults without children with Autism do not really understand it. A recent survey of parents reveal that 92% of parents without learning disabilities harbor severe misconceptions. It’s unfortunate given the fact that 20% of Americans have a learning disability, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

The survey of 1,000 parents conducted in March 2017 compared the responses of parents of children with and without difficulties. The study was released by Brain Balance Achievement Centers,a holistic, non-medical, drug-free approach to addressing behavioral, social, or learning difficulties

Asked what they think causes these difficulties, 46% of parents of children with difficulties say nature is the root cause of the difficulties while 24% think their child’s difficulties are hereditary, and another 22% think they arise from developmental delays. Only 7% say they’re caused by bad parenting.

Compare this to what parents of children without difficulties think:45% think that parents are to blame for difficulties and  27% of parents whose children don’t have learning difficulties think they’re caused by a lack of discipline, while 18% think they come from bad parenting. (In reality, learning, social, and behavioral difficulties can have many sources, including neurologically based processing problems.)

Parents who are curious about learning, social, and behavioral difficulties, or who think their child might have one, can take this online assessment:  After years of helping children with behavioral and social challenges, the experts at Brain Balance have developed a cutting-edge (and drug-free) program combining sensory motor stimulation, academic stimulation, and nutrition to correct brain imbalance and improve achievement.

Given that 7% of children with difficulties are bullied at school, it leaves one to wonder if kids are getting those misconceptions from their parents at home.

Correcting wrong perceptions is essential as is moving past basic awareness and more towards acceptance.

Check out the rest of Willingham’s piece HERE! 

How Kate Middleton’s pregnancy could give maternity wear business a “bump”

UK’s maternity Designer Seraphine has a collection of clothing that is already tailored to Middleton’s style aesthetics 

A new Forbes article says that baby and maternity products
manufacturers, designers and retailers can expect to see a bump [pun intended]
in sales from Kate Middleton’s pregnancy.
The darling Duchess of Cambridge did the traditional fashion
industry a favor by waiting 18 months to get pregnant, giving it a chance to
profit off of buzz from her selection of clothing.  Middleton’s mother in law and grandmother-in
law Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth both got pregnant within 3 months of
Now maternity designers like Bellyitch faves Seraphine,
Isabella Oliver and Tiffany Rose, all UK-based, have a chance to experience the
Kate Middleton
”.  The term refers to the fact
that each time she wears an item, the retailer’s sells out of it within hours.
For example, according to Forbes, a Prabal
Gurung designer dress
that retailed for $1,995 sold out in an hour after
Kate wore it as did a $60 off the rack dress from Hobbs department store in
London. Similarly, a $450 Rebecca Taylor coat sold out in 30 minutes after she
was photographed in it.
British label Reiss’ profits soared from $6.7 million in
2010 to $13.2 in 2011 after Kate wore their dress in her official engagement
photo and again during the couple’s post-nuptial tour of Canada.  Alexander McQueen, which designed Kate’s
wedding dress, saw their sales leap from 2010 to 2011 by 27%.
Thanks to Duchess Kate!
And today, came recent news that there will no longer be
discrimination in succession to the thrown so regardless if Kate’s first born
is a girl or boy, she or he will be the next Queen or King of England.

post signature


Community Saturday: Free Tans, Survey Results & Free Mobile Pregnancy Tools

Hollywood Tans is offering complimentary tans all day on Saturday, March 6th at participating salons. For more information, visit:

Its “lights, camera, and action” at Hollywood Tans salons across the country as they roll out the red carpet with Hollywood-style parties, free tans including Mystic spray tans and specials at participating salons.

Add Image

The award-season celebration also includes free upgrades for all levels of memberships for the rest of March. Join Hollywood Tans’ A-List for year-long specials and free offers.
Hollywood Tans is known as the place to go for the same sexy tan A-Listers sport. To get your free tan, make it onto the A-List, or for further information, visit us at:

Survey reveals that “Financial Security, NOT Fertility, Is the Top Reason When Choosing an Ideal Age to Have a Baby” (, a multiplatform brand focused on first-time moms, and, a website for career-minded women, revealed the results of a “Working Moms” survey.

They polled 2,000 women on their personal experiences and opinions when it comes to the much-debated topic of motherhood and career. This in-depth survey reveals everything from how motherhood has impacted their career to career satisfaction to when they had their first child and how they felt returning to work post-baby.

“We find women on always asking each other the age-old question of whether there’s ever really a ‘perfect’ age to have a baby,” says Carley Roney, editor-in-chief of “As women balance biology with modern goals like a fulfilling career, bustling social life and happy marriage, there’s no doubt that women are increasingly trying to find that sweet spot on when to become a mother and have it all.”
Highlights from and “Working Moms” survey results include:
25 TO 29 IS THE SWEET SPOT WHEN IT COMES TO THE “IDEAL AGE”. 42% of women surveyed responded that 25 to 29 was the “ideal age” for a working woman to have or adopt her first child. Women aged 30 to 39 were most likely to think 30 to 34 was the ideal age for a working woman to have or adopt her first child.
FINANCIAL SECURITY, NOT FERTILITY, IS THE TOP REASON WHEN CHOOSING AN “IDEAL” AGE TO HAVE A BABY. Despite all the ongoing research surrounding fertility and age, interestingly enough, fertility is not the number one factor when it comes to deciding when to have a baby. The top two reasons were financial security (33%) and being emotionally “ready” to become parents (31%).
YOUNGER MOMS MORE CONTENT WITH TIMING OF THEIR FIRST CHILD. Respondents who had their first child from 25 to 29 were the most content with the timing of their first child (82%). More than a third (35%) of moms who had their first child from 30 to 34 wish they’d had their child at a younger age, and 57% of moms who had their first child from 35 to 39 wish they’d had their child at a younger age.
62% OF WOMEN FEEL MOTHERHOOD NEGATIVELY IMPACTS A WOMAN’S CAREER. Yet working moms who were surveyed didn’t feel as strongly when it came to their own career. Non-moms were more likely to think that motherhood had a negative impact on women’s careers compared to moms and moms-to-be (71%, 59% and 58%, respectively).
NEGATIVE FEELINGS DOMINATE WHEN RETURNING TO WORK POST-BABY. Working moms surveyed chose “guilty,” “overwhelmed,” “stressed,” “sad,” and “anxious” as the top five feelings when it came to how they felt when returning to work post-baby. Working moms who “chose” to return to work were less likely to feel as negative.
59% OF WORKING MOMS NO LONGER CARED AS MUCH ABOUT WORK POST-BABY. Although 59% of working moms are “glad to be back at work” post-baby, 59% also said they “no longer cared as much” about work.
“One of the most compelling findings in the survey is that women stated financial security and being emotionally ‘ready’ as top indicators of the ideal age to have a baby,” says Francesca Donner, editor of “It is apparent that the decision to have a baby is dependent on many variables, and will continue to evolve along with women’s roles in the workplace and in society at large.”
To see the article or to see further results from the survey, please visit and
I hope to interview the folks behind this survey this week and provide a more in-depth article later this week. Stay tuned….
I went to an industry event this week at the FCC and learned about a fascinating tool for pregnant women via a presentation by an old friend, who just happens to be the Vice President for Regulatory Affairs for the wireless industry trade organization, CTIA.

Text4Baby, an educational p;rogram of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition(HMHB) is a FREE mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health.

Women who sign up for the service by texting BAB (or Bebe for Spanish) to 511411 will receive free SMS text messages each week, timed to their due date or the baby’s date of birth.

It provides pregnant women and new moms with information they need to take care of their health and give their babies the best possible start in life

VERY COOL!!!! I am a big believer in it takes a village and with all of the neat apps available via i Phone that have obvious costs (iPhone, iPhone service, any download or monthly cost associated with the applications), sometimes people of modest means don’t have the same access.

Kudos to the brains and companies behind this effort!

post signature