Today marks the 8th annual World Autism Awareness Day. The United Nations declared April 2nd as an awareness day in 2007 to shine a bright light on autism as a growing global health crisis. Autism is one of only three health issues to be recognized with its own day by the United Nations.
On April 2nd organizations, communities and individuals sponsor activities to increase world knowledge of autism and impart information about the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention. Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to Autism awareness and education, started the campaign "Light It Up Blue" that illuminates thousands of iconic landmarks, communities, businesses and homes across the globe in honor of the millions of individuals and families around the world affected by autism.
The statistics are alarming, 1 in 68 American children are diagnosed as on the autism spectrum – a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Careful research shows that this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and awareness. Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. ASD affects over 2 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. Government autism statistics suggest that prevalence rates have increased 10 to 17% annually in recent years. Research has also shown that early identification and intervention are key for children's success! So help us spread the word this April 2nd on Autism Awareness, and the importance of identifying issues related to autism.
Take a peek at the blue movement from past years, and join in by wearing blue, putting up a sign in your house/office, or letting someone know about this important awareness holiday.