MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

March 31, 2013

Advocates for autistic push blue light special

Local mother joins campaign to color city

— Mellissa Rhodes is asking all Muskogee residents to join her in turning the city blue Tuesday.

Rhodes, a homemaker, has two children: Meghann, 9, and Hunter, 12, who has autism. Rhodes said she knew Hunter was autistic at an early age, but his pediatrician wouldn’t make the diagnosis.

“He wasn’t violent, and the pediatrician said violence was an indicator,” Rhodes said. “But different children have different types of autism.”

Rhodes is participating in Light It Up Blue, a project started by Autism Speaks, a national autism awareness community. April is Autism Awareness month, and the goal of Light It Up Blue is to have participants shine a blue light on April 2.

Rhodes wants Muskogee to take an extra step.

“I’d like people to wear a blue shirt or a blue ribbon,” she said. “I’ve even asked some local businesses to place something blue in their storefront windows.

“I’ve talked to Muskogee schools about it, and they have agreed to send a districtwide email encouraging students and staff to wear blue.”

Rhodes came across Light It Up Blue project when she was looking for a local support group to help her with Hunter.

“Families who have autistic children struggle,” she said. “Hunter also has MECP2 (Rett Syndrome), which is a genetic disorder, as well as asthma and eyesight trouble.”

She said she knows the Muskogee area is home to many other autistic children, and she wants to bring awareness of that to the community.

According to Light It Up Blue’s website, slightly more than 31,000 people have pledged to shine a blue light in support of the event.

You can reach Travis Sloat at (918) 684-2908 or tsloat@muskogeephoenix.com.

Learn more

About autism: www.autismspeaks.org

About Light It Up Blue: www.lightitupblue.org

1
Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks