Why I DON’T support the “Light It Up Blue” Campaign but respect that you might

Okay… You’re either going to love me or hate me but for what it’s worth, at least I’m being honest with you.  Perhaps you can at least respect that.  😉
I’m not a fan of the Light It Up Blue campaign by Autism Speaks and here’s why.

Put simply, it has nothing at all to do with raising Autism Awareness.  The color blue and the blue puzzle piece are associated with Autism Speaks and have nothing to do with raising awareness for people with Autism or their families.


It’s the opinion of this Autism Dad of three, that the Light It Up Blue campaign is nothing more than a fundraiser and marketing gimmick that is intended to raise money and Awareness for Autism Speaks…….not Autism.

I feel as though Light It Up Blue almost exploits the Autism community because it’s taking advantage of the only time that Autism is in the national spotlight and uses it to make money that’s widely believed to be irresponsibly spent. While some of it goes to research and large part goes to overhead. Far too little, if anything at all, actually goes to the local community or people with Autism or their families. 

Ask yourself this question.  When you see a blue light bulb or puzzle piece what’s the very first thing that you think of? My guess is that it’s Autism Speaks. 

Even if you disagree with everything I said, there’s one more thing to think about. Autism Speaks is an Autism Organization that is very controversial and doesn’t even have the support of a huge number of adult Autistics…

In my opinion, there are far better and more effective things you can do for Autism Awareness month than screw in a blue light bulb. 

Again, this is only my opinion.  That said, I’m a father to three boys with Autism and I have a vested interest in seeing the world richer by becoming more aware, understanding and accepting of people with Autism and their families.

I’m not trying to tell you what to do.  I’m simply giving you something to think about…. 🙂

If people want to screw in a blue light bulb, than more power to them. I respect and admire anyone trying to raise awareness, regardless of the method.

As always, I wish you all the very best….

This site is managed almost exclusively from my Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Please forgive any typos as auto-correct HATES me. 😉

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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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So what if Autism speaks makes money off it? It’s not about Autism Speaks its’ about awareness, Do you think the average person knows anything about Autism Speaks,or how they spend their money??? Susan G Kohman makes Millions off of pink, but you know what? There is hardly a person who doesn’t associate it with Breast Cancer and we need the same thing for Autism. We need awareness and we need it bad. Your petty bickering over how Autism speaks spends its money is not going to increase that. Sorry, I don’t agree with you at all on this one.


I never thought about it that way. You’re right.

Sarah Doreen

I sooo agree Rob and i shared those same feelings with my family and friends on Apr 2. I thanked everyone who wore any color for autism but that i could not light it up blue and why.

Where's your pants? and other things parents of ch

Thank you! We are all on the same team regardless of how we light things up! Good points about AS and even better ones about how we need to respect everyone’s ideas!

April Roga

I am hoping your blog post gets positive feedback, even from those who do support #LIUB and Autism Speaks. I would love for people to keep an open mind and respect the opinions of others. We are all supporting the same cause, even if we choose different avenues to get there 🙂

Jennifer Joy Brooking

Yay! Another parent who gets it! Wish more would research autism speaks motives too!

Lost and Tired

@Rebecca MacDonald @Kristy Mann Taylor @Eileen Harrop @Mercedes L Shea @Shondolyn Gibson @Rosanna Armendariz KimberlyRock @Maria Hall HollyRodFDN

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  I thankful that a dialogue has been created… 🙂

Lost and Tired

troy191908  thanks 🙂


I agree with you 100%%. I am a Mother of two Autistic boys, I feel your opinion is spot on.


Hi Jay. I don’t usually support AS, however, their 100 day kit and their part in the big red safety box campaign has helped me to help dozens of newly diagnosed families. I don’t support their views, but I do appreciate those 2 tool kits that they sponsor and distribute as a starting point for helping new families.


Definitely not going to “hate you” for your opinion! As a passionate advocate for autism, I have struggled this year for how to convey my support in April, knowing the issues that exist regarding Autism Speaks. Basically, I’ve decided to make sure everyone knows my main goal is supporting those with autism, their families, and the broader world around them. I do think blue as a color in April makes a statement that goes beyond Autism Speaks. But I definitely definitely respect all the different viewpoints.

Avia Batya

I think an effective door would include autistic people in the conversation instead promoting a view that excludes the very people whose lives they’re trying to enhance. I’m 30 years old with a Master’s Degree. I can damn well speak for myself. The perception of people with Autism that this organization spreads is insulting and demeaning to me and everyone else on the spectrum and trivializes everything we do accomplish. They also provide little to no resources for high functioning adults or much of anything directed at the people themselves.

Rosanna Armendariz

And it’s not just Autism Speaks. Autism Society is the same crap. And many other smaller local groups also cash in. I see it where I live. “Raising Awareness” is just bullshit to get organizations $$ and for attention starved egomaniacs to feel they are important. Lighting it up blue, dressing in blue, or having a jolly blue time is most likely not going to lead to significant improvements in our lives. Having said that, it is better than silence. At least autism is being brought to the national spotlight. Hopefully something good will come from all the “awareness” like better services and more accommodations for people with autism.

Andrea Williams

look for a path certified barn and invest in a good helmet__i recommend troxel

Andrea Williams

yeah working on competing in the state special olympic games in september

Shondolyn Gibson

How awesome. I want to ride horses more often. The few times i got to ride one I felt like BOADICEA.

Where's your pants? and other things parents of ch

I love it! We will put our our blue light bulb as it is a nice conversation starter for anyone who doesn’t know us in the neighborhood, but that is all about our family not about the campaign itself. I respect and appreciate everyone who celebrates, but it really doesn’t support autism, just Autism Speaks, which is fine, but if I am going to raise any kind of awareness it is going to be in my local community~ great blog!

Andrea Williams

forgot to add and brought home ribbons competing against normals too

Andrea Williams

yes i have competed in dressage against normals__i am now going to try special olympic riding

Shondolyn Gibson

Me neither. Are you riding a HORSE? OOO I WANT A HORSE!

Shondolyn Gibson

I think we need a better magnet. If they really want to help autistic people, why must they depress us? Seriously, reading their stuff DEPRESSES me. It makes me feel miserable. You should not make people you want to help feel miserable like their existence ruins families which isn’t even true.

Shondolyn Gibson

I’ll never light it up blue if they are going to support people who shock and inflict pain on people.

Shondolyn Gibson

To me, Autism Speaks has no respect for autistic people. How do they think they are helping autistic people without respecting them or their humanity? I will never support them. And blue is MY colour, dang it. Not theirs!

Mercedes L Shea

I do light it up blue because everyone asks me about it and it at least raises awareness with people around me ..but to each their own ..I also think it’s a statement yes my kids have autism and I love them as they are

Andrea Williams

maybe we need a new door damn it

Andrea Williams


Andrea Williams

they paint us as monsters__i am NOT a monster damn it

Maria Hall

April is also light it up blue for child abuse prevention month. Hmmm…..

Mark Bowler

I’m a father of two Au-some daughters, and support there further growth in this miss guided world. I’m not a supporter of promoting big business at the cost of helping those in need. I light up blue to spread awareness. It’s important to find real answers and positive solutions for those affected by Autisms variety of symptoms. Love my Autism Family!

Dawn Richardson Milligan

Autism speaks Canada has done amazing things to.bring awareness and programs to our province (Saskatchewan) and I may not agree 100% with some of what they do, but they bring a huge amount of funding and resources to us.
And the key for me is the word gets out on a large scale!! We as a province are way behind all the other provinces in services for families and need ALL the help we can get.

Eileen Harrop

I support anything that helps spread the word on autism. I am not involved with autism speaks at all but I participate in light it up blue

Kristy Mann Taylor

I respect anyone that does the “light it up blue”. I too, am a parent of 3 asd boys. BUT, I agree with you. Autism Speaks (in MY opinion) doesn’t encompass the true meaning of awareness or acceptance. While I applaud my family and friends for thinking they are doing a great thing, and thinking they are showing support…they will never really know the difference…. Unless the are personally TOUCHED by autism.


Many people do not realize this and very happy to see you are helping others realize! Keep doing what you are doing 🙂


this must be bad on my part but as I have said I my nephew that has autism (and I am guardian if something happended to his mama until the other kids are grown and want the responsibility) but I didnt know there was a color. I liked the point the person made that the blue lightbulb was a great way for people to ask about it and her tell about autisim. I do know that the only help my sister n law has every gotten was from the school and social security (which we are both thankful for)


JenniferWhynott  Ha Ha! That is the first thing I thoght. We do have Kmart here in the US and the stores are slowly being closed. I dont go there just because it is not in my area. I remember 30 years ago they were the only ones open on thanksgiving at 9:00 pm and we rushed to the store lol. You made my day as I do have a lot of great Kmart blue light special memories

Fran Pilchik Adams

When I think of Light it up Blue. i think of World Autism Day & Autism Awareness Month. I do not support Autism Speaks and will not raise money for them. Instead I give to a statewide Autism charity. However i do partake in the Light it Up Blue movement. Every year if one person asks me about my blue porch light ( and they do) and I educate them in some way, then it s worth it to me and my affected son.

Jay Griggs

Great commenting rob, but I must respectfully disagree. Autism speaks is like the American Red Cross. A big hulking organization with way too much overhead, but they are still a magnet to the cause.
Sure there are much better and efficient grass roots movements, but I look at Autism Speaks as more of a way to get people in the door.

Lost and Tired

Carrollynn Henshaw more power to you. I totally respect that… Keep on keeping on….

Carrollynn Henshaw

I support autism- regardless of how it speaks or what it says! I love to light it up blue and I love to talk about why that may not be a great thing. As long as we are talking about autism- I’m happy!

Rebecca MacDonald

Autism $peaks also endorses the infamous Judge Rotenberg Center, which still uses electric shock aversion “therapy”, and they promote fear and panic about autism with their terrible ads. There are also no Autistics on their governing board, which makes no sense? How do you speak for a group of people with no representation from members of said group?!
Some other groups that actually involve and benefit Autistics are: The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, The Autism Women’s Network. Also, check out Boycott Autism Speaks for more info.

Rhyan Soto-Motto

Our family fundraises for TACA during april. They provide 1-1 parent mentors to any family living with autism, hold monthly get togethers and have great family events and almost all of it is free to families. They do scholarships and participate in autism cares for families in crisis. They also just co sponsored the last batch of Big Red Safety Boxes from NAA! I love getting to fundraise for direct help to families and celebrate all my kids accomplishments in the last year with our friends and extended family

Avia Batya

As the slogan goes “Autism Speaks does not speak for me”…and they really don’t appear to give a rat’s ass about what me or anyone else with autism thinks. Apparently, in their view, we are incapable of thinking for ourselves. I have enough bullshit to put up with because of my impaired social skills and related common biases, I don’t need people who don’t even want to find out what I’m thinking spreading more crap.


Well said. The first thing I think of when I see a blue light is the KMart special. Not sure if KMart is in the continental US thing but I know they are west coast and it was their way of signaling a super sale.