Brian Batey, a 48-year-old dad from Louisiana, USA, painted his nails blue to raise autism awareness.
Batey is a father of 18-year-old Nathan, who was diagnosed of having Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition wherein a person’s communication and social skills are affected. But it was not only the reason why his battle keeps going. When he was younger, he’s also different from the other kids. Unfortunately, since he was residing in a rural area of Louisiana, no medical professional can figure out what his condition is. He just found out that he is “somewhere on the [autism] spectrum” when he was 46.
Batey created Paint ‘em Blue for Autism, a Facebook page, in 2013. Now, it has over 3000 likes and a lot of people from Australia, Scotland, Germany, and other countries, share their blue nail pictures as a sign of support to someone close to their hearts. The act isn’t to raise some funds but to raise awareness.
Batey believes that people with autism does not only need acknowledgement but acceptance. He has been feeling sad about how they feel left out of place because most normal people do not understand them. “They don’t get invited to birthday parties or prom. For the first 2 years, I would see blue nails and it was encouraging. It made me feel less alone, less out at sea, maybe that person was like me and facing the same challenges,” he said to CNN.
Apart from painting his nails blue, he also has 2 tattoos. The first one, a bass clef made of “Autism Speaks” puzzle pieces, was after hitting his goal of acquiring 100 people to color their nails blue. The second one was few days before April 2, the World Autism Awareness Day, which is a Superman logo, still made of puzzle pieces, however, missing a single piece. He said to HLN, “Autistic people can have some amazing intellectual abilities. The missing piece asks the observer to consider what these people would be if they had all the abilities and none of the disability that autism has given them. They would be practically superhuman. It also communicates my personal choice to focus more on Nathan’s strengths and giftedness rather than on his struggles and current limitations.”