Autism is a complex disorder which affects roughly 1 in 100 Australians and approx 1 in 110 people around the world.
Autism affects a person's ability to interact with the world around them in a number of ways. Also referred to as ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) this developmental disorder has wide ranging levels of severity, commonly affecting social, emotional and communication skills. Many people with ASD have unusual ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to sensations. The cause of autism is not yet fully understood and there is no known cure.
Globally there is limited funding and support for those suffering with Autism and while there is no cure, there is a lot which can be done to help ASD diagnosed persons in the home, community, schools and workplace environments.
In order to raise awareness of this disorder, in 2007, the United Nations sanctioned April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day, and shortly after, the 'Light It Up Blue' initiative launched as a creative method of highlighting awareness of Autism on this day.
As a symbol of support for World Autism Awareness Day, countries all over the world light up their iconic buildings blue. From The Empire State building to the Sydney Opera House, and numerous hotels, sporting venues, concert halls, museums, bridges, retail stores and private homes join this display to raise understanding of the disability that is Autism, to encourage governments to increase funding and support of autistic people in the community, and to celebrate the individuals living with autism and ASD.
So on April 2nd, you are encouraged to help 'Light it up blue' and support Autism Awareness around the world. You can:
*Replace your external house lights with blue globes, or display blue lanterns in your home or office.