Charleston, WV among cities to host events on World Autism Aware - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Charleston, WV among cities to host events on World Autism Awareness Day

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The sixth annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2013. Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events.

The Childhood Language Center in Charleston held an open house called "Light it up Blue". Crowds showed up for the lunch, tours and giveaways.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones held a news conference as part of the event.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms used to describe the complex disorders of brain development. They're characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.

Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development, according to the Autism Speaks foundation. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identify approximately 1 in 88 children as on the autism spectrum. Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.