Special Needs Now

Why This Dad Is Painting His Nails Blue for Autism

Brian Batey Paint
Blue is the color that represents autism awareness, and Brian Batey is doing his part to increase awareness by painting his nails blue.

The Louisiana dad actually started his annual Paint'em Blue for Autism tradition in 2013, when a neighbor and her daughter painted their nails blue to honor of his son, Nathan, during Autism Awareness Month. Nathan, 18, has Asperger's syndrome, and Batey himself was also diagnosed with Asperger's just two years ago.

He was inspired to create a Facebook page to encourage family and friends to share photos of their blue (hand and toe) nails, along with the name of the individual they were honoring. Similar to the #WearYellowforSeth campaign, Batey is not interested in receiving money -- he only wants to see and share photos, and help others understand his son and the autism community better.

Batey hopes that something as simple as panting nails blue can spark a dialogue. "The nails represent a growing level of acceptance of people like me and people like my son — that we have a growing place in the world of neurotypicals," he told TODAY.

So start painting your nails blue this month!


Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com. She loves collecting children's picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea.