Blue Ribbons and Balloon Launch in Burton

Have you seen the square in Burton?

As you drive around the square in Burton, you will see the outer trees around the circle decorated with a blue ribbon. And from March 30 through April 2 you will also see the main street flooded with blue lights in front of the businesses. This is all in preparation for World Autism Awareness Day held on April 2 each year.

blue ribbon
Blue Ribbon to support World Autism Day

Did you know that every 20 minutes, a child is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? This is why autism awareness is so important to me – and should be important to others as well. Pediatric reports state 1 in 91 children in the U.S have autism, and CDC reports say 1 in 110 American children have autism; either way, the statistics are increasing daily.

Autism research only receives approximately 5% of government funding, which is scary considering this is the fastest growing serious developmental disorder in the United States. Autism is the only disorder dramatically on the rise while mental retardation, Down Syndrome, and cystic fibrosis remain relatively the same.

The cause of autism remains a mystery. Current studies show genetics and environment play a role in autism increase. Some say childhood vaccines are a cause due to the number of vaccines given at one time; six vaccines given in one injection. Again, this is just speculation, so I suggest doing your research and being informed by talking with your pediatrician prior to vaccines. Knowledge is power.

World Autism Day
April 2nd is World Autism Day

My hopes are to bring awareness to all those around me and especially my community. We all say, “This will not happen to me.” Eight years ago I had no idea what autism was…..I do now.

What will happen to my son when I am no longer able to care for him? Or when I pass away?

I am doing, and will continue to do, everything in my power to ensure my beautiful son will have a bright and successful future and will be able to thrive in society. I look at my son and think what a wonderful world this would be if we all could see through his eyes. What I’d give to see the world the way he does. No one is different to him. He does not look at people, like the rest of us, and see different skin color, race, or religion. To him they are all the same, and for that I do envy him. He loves unconditionally – can any one of us really say that?

I will continue this journey, for one day my son Jason will say, “Look what my mom did for me. She paved the way.” I want my son to be as proud of me as I am of him.

Together, we can make a difference. Join us Saturday, March 31st at The Century Village in Burton at 2:00 pm for the Balloon Launch to honor ALL those affected by autism.

Although the event has now passed, you can still support Autism Awareness. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and stay connect to Geauga News. We will share with you everything that’s going on in Geauga County.


This is article 6 in a series on autism. See the previous articles on autism.

Autism – The Missing Piece of the Puzzle
You Probably Haven’t Realized All These Things About Autism
Autism – Reach for the S.T.A.R.S
Light it Up Blue in Honor of World Autism Awareness Day
Beware of the Hidden Dangers of Autism

Rachel Dannemiller
Author: Rachel Dannemiller

Rachel is a lifelong resident of Geauga County. She is married to Tom and has a son Jason, and a dog named Harley. Rachel and her family are devoted to bringing autism awareness to the community and they are organizing the local Autism Speaks event in Burton this year.