Wednesday is the seventh annual World Autism Awareness Day, and a number of activities are being held locally including the lighting up of the outside of the Rundel Library in downtown Rochester with blue lights. Blue is the color being used worldwide to promote better understanding and treatment of autism, and locally, the advocacy organization 'AutismUp' is out in the community providing information.
Beth Ciardi has a 7-year-old with autism, and she is also an official with the AutismUp and she says that a recent federal report noted that one in 68 children in the U-S have an autism spectrum disorder which is a 30 percent increase from two years ago.
"That number continues to increase as well as the need for programming and support and services for people in our community with autism, so AutismUp is starting to see our membership increasing along with the prevalence rate."
Ciardi says discovering autism in children early on is important in the effort to get them the kinds of services they need so that they can do well in school and later on as an adult, be successful in the working world.