Today is the 12th annual World Autism Day. Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder is a condition that typically appears in young children where they have trouble communicating and developing relationships with others.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national rate of children identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder is 1 in 59 children.

But the rate of autism is even more alarming in New Jersey. New Jersey has the highest rate of autism in the nation: 1 in 34 children, or 3% of 8-year-old children. New Jersey’s prevalence continues to exceed and outpace other states.

As part of World Autism Day you are encouraged to be a part of Light it Up Blue, a campaign spearheaded by the autism community that aims to foster understanding and acceptance for those with autism. Supporters are encouraged to wear blue clothing and post to social media using the hashtag #LightItUpBlue to raise awareness.

If you would like to help spread the word during National Autism Month in April, here are three ways you can get involved, courtesy of the Organization for Autism Research, better known as OAR...

  1. Volunteer. Cheer on our runners. Volunteer for events. ...
  2. Get Active for Autism. Get outdoors and walk, run, bike. ...
  3. Fundraise. Set up your own lemonade stand, or turn your passion, hobby, or activity into something more. ...

See more details from  the Organization for Autism Research

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