Countries from every continent will come together on Monday, April 2 to mark World Autism Awareness Day. In spite of their many differences in size, culture and economics, these countries share a concern about what has become the world’s fastest growing disability.
With a unanimous vote, the United Nations established this day in 2008 to promote greater understanding about autism, which continues to rise in the United States. Just today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data showing that 1 in 88 children has some form of autism spectrum disorder. According to the CDC report, that is a 78% increase compared to a decade ago. Autism now affects one in every 55 boys, an 82% increase from 2002 estimates. Light It Up Blue, in its fifth year, is a unique global initiative to help shine a light on autism and raise awareness about this serious public health concern.
Over 2000 iconic landmarks across 180 cities, 48 countries, and 6 continents including the Great Buddha at Hyogo, Japan; New York Stock Exchange; Canton Tower, China; Sydney Opera House, Australia will participate in Light It Up Blue to show their support. The Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority in Erie has approved the lighting of the Bicentennial Tower in support of Autism Awareness Month.
How can you help increase Autism Awareness? Visit your local Home Depot to purchase blue bulbs and lanterns, and change your white bulb to blue in your home, business or school. Tell your friends about it on Facebook and Twitter. Go to www.lightitupblue.org and sign the pledge to raise awareness about autism. Together we can Light Up the whole world BLUE for Autism Awareness.
If you are in the Erie area, be sure to join us for Autism Awareness Day at the Millcreek Mall on Saturday, March 31 from noon-4 p.m. We will be in the center concourse (near the Easter Bunny!) with crafts and facepainting for kids, visits with Clifford the Big Red Dog and Kids on the Block puppet shows. We will also have information for parents and our staff will be on hand to answer questions.
P.S. I enjoyed reading your replies to my blog…Keep them coming!