As we enter into World Autism Month, learn more about why autism spectrum disorder deserves the spotlight.
What is autism?
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. We now know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. Most are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences, and many are accompanied by medical issues such as GI disorders, seizures and sleep disturbances. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in every 68 children is on the autism spectrum.
What is Autism Awareness Month and why does it matter?
Each April 2nd, Autism Speaks celebrates the start of its signature campaign, Light It Up Blue, along with the international autism community in recognition of UN sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day and April, World Autism Month. Thousands of iconic landmarks and buildings join the hundreds of thousands of homes and communities around the world to “light blue” in support of people living with autism. Autism-friendly events and educational activities take place all month to increase understanding and acceptance and further support people with autism.
What buildings and landmarks have gone “blue” in the past?
Thousands of buildings and landmarks have gone “blue” year after year, including the Empire State building in New York, Sydney Opera House in Australia, Niagara Falls in Canada, The Great Pyramids of Giza, The Freedom Tower in New York, John Hancock Center in Chicago, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Capitol Tower in Los Angeles, and many others. The Light It Up Blue campaign is celebrated in 157 countries around the world.*
P.S. Don’t forget to wear blue on April 2 and post a selfie with #LIUB!