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April 2 kicks off Autism Awareness Month

By WKTV News

Monday was World Autism Day, kicking off the month-long Autism Awareness month in April.

Every year, Autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events.

Last week, the CDC released a report that states autism now affects 1 in 88 children.

One autism awareness initiative, Light It Up Blue, is in its third year. It is a unique global initiative to help raise awareness about the growing public health concern that is autism. Iconic landmarks around the world will "Light It Up Blue" to show their support.

In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), with the goal of bringing the world's attention to autism, a pervasive disorder that affects tens of millions.

World Autism Awareness Day shines a bright light on autism as a growing global health concern. WAAD activities help to increase and develop world knowledge of the autism crisis and impart information regarding the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention. Additionally, WAAD celebrates the unique talents and skills of people with autism, and features community events around the world where individuals with autism and their families are warmly welcomed and embraced.
About Autism

Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders - autism spectrum disorders - caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum - a 1000 percent increase in the past 40 years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.

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