Ryan Flinn and Rhonda Kelley change the light on their front porch to shine blue every April.
Their 7-year-old daughter, Teagan, has autism, and blue is the color symbolizing autism awareness. Teagan was diagnosed at 18 months, and doesn't communicate verbally. She is learning to use an iPad to express her wants and needs.
"The journey from diagnosis with autism at 18 months old to this point has been quite interesting," Flinn said in an interview. "You go through this natural progression of feeling depressed at first," wondering if your child will ever go to college, or hold a job, he said. "Eventually you see the child for who they are and not the autism, so to speak."
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Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, affects about 3 million Americans, and tens of millions of people around the world, according to advocacy group Autism Speaks. It's been growing in prevalence, from about one in 150 kids in the U.S. in 2000, to one in 68 kids in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Autism affects boys four to five times as much as it affects girls, leading Autism Speaks to choose blue as its signature color.