2024 World Autism Awareness Day

Autism rainbow infinity loop pin on a bright yellow backpack.

World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated worldwide on April 2 to increase awareness of autism – and the acceptance of those who have autism. 

According to 2023 research by the Center for Disease and Control, approximately 1 in 36 children in the United States is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which is up from 1 in 44 in 2021. The most recent estimate from the CDC is that more than 5 million adults (18 and older) have ASD. 

This year marks the 16th World Autism Awareness Day, which is a United Nations-sanctioned event. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution, passed in council Nov. 1, 2007, and adopted on Dec. 18, 2007. World Autism Awareness Day was first observed April 2, 2008.

People commonly show support on World Autism Awareness Day by wearing blue or lighting up their homes and businesses blue. The color blue symbolizes feelings of calm, comfort, and acceptance in a world that can be loud and chaotic for those with autism.

Fittingly, this year’s theme is "color". To celebrate, people are encouraged to express themselves on World Autism Awareness Day through color, whether it’s through coloring or wearing colors that they enjoy.

Other ways to show ways to show support on World Autism Awareness Day this year include:

  • Attend an autism-awareness event
  • Donate to a fundraiser that supports autism
  • Read articles or books that cover autism
  • Support autistic-owned businesses
  • Share your experiences related to autism

We hope you join us in celebrating World Autism Awareness Day. Together, we can make those with autism feel more accepted — and help them reach their full potential.