Every year on April 2, an A-list of Global landmarks goes blue for United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day: a Blue Day for Autism. 

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Anything Blue review – Autism Speaks Blue

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New-York’s Empire State Building in the US, the Great Buddha of Hyogo in Japan, the Macau Tower, the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, the Christ Redeemer in Brazil, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy… the list of participating landmarks is getting longer every year as the Autism community, along with a network of national and international associations such as Autism Speaks (below), promotes awareness with the campaign ‘Light It Up Blue: Shine a light on Autism’.

Not for our eyes only, but to demystify a disease that touches over 10 million people worldwide and counting, with recent statistics showing a drastic increase – nowadays, 1 out of 42 boys born in the United States are diagnosed with Autism. Your jaw is dropping, right? Probably because the cause has not shine, yet, its blue light on you. Read below.

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A word from Autism Speaks

‘How Common Is Autism?

Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 American children as on the autism spectrum–a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Careful research shows that this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and awareness.

Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.

ASD affects over 3 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. Moreover, government autism statistics suggest that prevalence rates have increased 10 to 17 percent annually in recent years. There is no established explanation for this continuing increase, although improved diagnosis and environmental influences are two reasons often considered. [Learn more …]

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What Causes Autism?

Not long ago, the answer to this question would have been ‘we have no idea.’

Research is now delivering the answers.

First and foremost, we now know that there is no one cause of autism just as there is no one type of autism. Over the last five years, scientists have identified a number of rare gene changes, or mutations, associated with autism. A small number of these are sufficient to cause autism by themselves. Most cases of autism, however, appear to be caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development.

In the presence of a genetic predisposition to autism, a number of nongenetic, or ‘environmental,’ stresses appear to further increase a child’s risk. The clearest evidence of these autism risk factors involves events before and during birth. They include advanced parental age at time of conception (both mom and dad), maternal illness during pregnancy and certain difficulties during birth, particularly those involving periods of oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain. It is important to keep in mind that these factors, by themselves, do not cause autism. Rather, in combination with genetic risk factors, they appear to modestly increase risk.

A growing body of research suggests that a woman can reduce her risk of having a child with autism by taking prenatal vitamins containing folic acid and/or eating a diet rich in folic acid (at least 600 mcg a day) during the months before and after conception.

Increasingly, researchers are looking at the role of the immune system in autism. Autism Speaks is working to increase awareness and investigation of these and other issues, where further research has the potential to improve the lives of those who struggle with autism.

[Learn more …]

Source: What is Autism @AutismSpeaks.org

The Light It Up in Blue campaign involves:

7 continents

101 countries

1,300 cities

8,400 landmarks and buildings

Register + Donate + Participate + Shop + Learn + Volunteer
+ More about the Light It Up Blue Day @Autism Speaks.org

A Blue Day for Autism - April 2 - Anything Blue

A Blue Day for Autism – April 2 – Anything Blue

A Blue Day for Autism - April 2 - Anything Blue

Empire State Building 2014, New York, USA – A Blue Day for Autism – April 2 – Anything Blue

A Blue Day for Autism - April 2 - Anything Blue

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy, 2014 – A Blue Day for Autism – April 2 – Anything Blue

A Blue Day for Autism - April 2 - Anything Blue

The Great Buddha of Hyogo 2014 – A Blue Day for Autism – April 2 – Anything Blue

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How to support with a donation? This way.

Everybody can participate and get involved in their own way – Some students have even created a version of Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk Video for Autism Awareness