Chances are you know someone who has autism. It is the fastest growing developmental disability in the U.S. affecting one in 110 children nationally, more so in boys than girls.
This month, the world is bringing Autism to the front lines and asking for your help. You're asked to light it up blue.
"We're asking businesses, buildings, and landmarks to actually light their buildings up, light their porches up blue," said Steve Yager, an advocate for Autism awareness.
Prominent buildings across North America and the world - including the Empire State Building in New York City and the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada will eminate blue for World Autism Awareness Day on Saturday, April 2.
"This is an epidemic that actually needs funding, awareness and research. It needs these things to bring about change into this area," said Yager.
Many people with the organization Autism Speaks want to take it one step further...they're asking you to leave a blue light on all month long.
In the Tri-States, landmarks like the Lighthouse on Cardiff Hill in Hannibal will also shine the light.
"I challenge every business owner, every individual to participate. It's nothing to buy a blue light and turn a blue light on. Think about the fact that we're bringing awareness to Autism," said Yager.
To make a pledge you'll light it up blue this month, you can join thousands of other advocates on www.lightitupblue.org. Right now, more than 65 thousand people have signed the pledge.
Some of you on Facebook say you're already lighting your homes blue. If you're wondering where you can find a blue light, Autism Speaks and Home Depot have teamed up to sell blue light bulbs for the event.
Steve Yager says some stores have already sold out but should be getting more shipments within the next few days. A portion of the lighbulb's cost will go toward Autism research.