LIGHT IT UP BLUE, in its third year, is a unique global initiative by Autism Speaks 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 on April 2, 2013—World Autism Awareness Day.

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.

Did you know ...

  1. Autism now affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys

  2. Autism prevalence figures are growing

  3. Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.

  4. Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average

  5. Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding than many less prevalent childhood diseases

  6. Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism

  7. There is no medical detection or cure for autism

National Institutes of Health Funds Allocation

  1. Total 2012 NIH budget: $30.86 billion

  2. Of this, only $169 million goes directly to autism research. This represents 0.55% of total NIH funding.

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