World Autism Month is celebrated in April. It is an annual opportunity for people all over the world to celebrate and discuss autism. Currently, one out of every 66 children in Canada is autistic. This statistic has risen dramatically in recent years, and it is now considered an epidemic. Let us work together to create an inclusive Canada where autistic people can reach their full potential.

History of World Autism Month

Autism was first described in medical literature in the 1700s as part of a larger discussion of what we now call a developmental disability. However, it wasn’t until the 1940s that scientists began to focus specifically on autism. Leo Kanner, an Austrian-American psychiatrist at John Hopkins University, published a series of 11 case studies in which he described 11 children who had similar symptoms. Hans Asperger’s paper soon after described a similar condition in children. These two papers are credited with bringing autism into the public eye.In 1980, the first formal diagnostic criteria for autism were published. The number of reported cases of autism has risen dramatically since then. The month of April is World Autism Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about autism spectrum disorder. Autism affects over 70 million people worldwide and is the most rapidly growing developmental disability in North America. This year, one in every 66 children and youth in Canada has been diagnosed with the disorder, making it the fastest-growing developmental disability.In 2008, many countries lit up their landmarks with blue lights to increase the understanding and acceptance of people with autism. That year, the United Nations General Assembly declared April 2 to be World Autism Awareness Day. In 2012, Canada passed legislation designating April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day to raise awareness about bullying and discrimination against people with autism.

World Autism Month timeline

The Earliest Known Description Of Autism

The earliest known description of autism is mentioned for the first time in medical literature.

A Focus On Autism

Leo Kanner, an Austrian-American psychiatrist, working at Johns Hopkins University, publishes a series of 11 case studies describing 11 children with similar symptoms.

The Canadian Parliament

Canada passes legislation designating April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day to raise awareness about bullying and discrimination against people living with autism.

3 April 2019
Landmark Lights

Many countries light up their landmarks with blue lights to increase the understanding and acceptance of people with autism.

World Autism Month FAQs

At what age does autism appear?

Autism spectrum disorder (A.S.D.) usually has its onset in early childhood. Many children show symptoms of A.S.D. by 12 months to 18 months of age, or earlier.

What is an autistic person like?

People with Autism Spectrum Disorder may find it hard to interact with other people. They may not understand how other people think or feel. They may get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events. They may take longer to understand information.

What is the new autism symbol?

Infinity has become a symbol of neurodiversity for many members of the autism community. Why is there a rainbow? It represents the entire autism spectrum, which is full of wonder and opportunity.

How to Observe World Autism Month

  1. Light it up blue

    In April, Autism Speaks its annual "Light It Up Blue" campaign to raise awareness about autism. Go blue! Replace the light bulbs in your home with blue bulbs, and change your profile picture on social media to a blue one. Businesses in many cities will do the same thing. If there isn't one in your town, contact your local government or businesses and ask them to go blue!

  2. Support autism-friendly businesses

    Many businesses offer services to people with autism. Businesses are looking for new ways to hire neurodiverse employees and give them opportunities to demonstrate their abilities. Find out about their company and show your support for it.

  3. Raise awareness with what you wear

    To raise awareness, wear blue clothing, a hat with an autism organization's logo, or a shirt representing autism organizations. Let's make it easier for people to learn about autism by wearing our support for those who live with it. If you don't have any autism awareness clothing on hand, go to your local craft store and make some ribbons to wear.

5 Facts About Autism You Need To Know

  1. No cure

    There is currently no medical detection or cure for autism spectrum disorder.

  2. There are more cases than we know

    A basic level test was performed on 750,000 undiagnosed people to determine whether they might have autism resulting in 87,000 participants reaching the threshold where they may have an autism spectrum disorder.

  3. More men have autism than women

    According to the C.D.C., five times as many males are diagnosed with autism as females, however, recent studies indicate that perhaps women are better at masking their symptoms and therefore go untested or undiagnosed.

  4. Caring cost reached $268 billion

    In 2015, Americans with autism spent $268 billion on care and related expenses, and is expected to rise to $461 billion in 2025 if more-effective intervention and support are not established.

  5. Autism is everywhere

    Autism Spectrum Disorder is a condition that has been diagnosed in many different races, ethnicities, and geographic locations.

Why World Autism Month is Important

  1. Promote understanding

    World Autism Month is an opportunity to promote understanding and acceptance of people with autism. Its purpose is to advocate for early diagnosis and intervention and raise awareness of the needs of those with autism and their families.

  2. It is the right time to donate

    Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, is committed to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and a cure for autism, raising awareness of autism spectrum disorders, and advocating for the needs of people with autism and their families. We are committed to raising the funds required to support these objectives.

  3. Educate us about autism

    It's an important time to learn more about autism, which affects one out of every 68 children. And, while autism is no longer considered a rare disorder, there is still a lack of knowledge about it.

World Autism Month dates

Year Date Day
2023 October 1 Sunday
2024 October 1 Tuesday
2025 October 1 Wednesday
2026 October 1 Thursday
2027 October 1 Friday
International Coffee Day
World Vegetarian Day
​International Day of Older Persons
Chinese National Day
National Black Dog Day
National Homemade Cookies Day
National Hair Day
National Fire Pup Day
​Pchum Ben
National Lace Day
CD Player Day
Model T Day
International Music Day
Balloons Around the World Day
Filipino American History Month
World Ballet Day
National Day of China
Teacher's Day in Uzbekistan
ROK Alliance Day
Nigeria Independence Day
Cyprus Independence Day
World Sake Day
Tuvalu Independence Day
International Raccoon Appreciation Day
National Fruit at Work Day
Investiture of the Captains Regent in San Marino
FGTeeV Chase's Birthday
Peter Thomas's Birthday
Julie Andrews's Birthday
Latisha Scott's Birthday
Dorian Hunter's Birthday
Jurnee Smollett-Bell's Birthday
Matthew Daddario's Birthday
Priah Ferguson's Birthday
Delianna Urena's Birthday
Zach Galifianakis's Birthday
Nathaniel Drew's Birthday
Myles Parrish's Birthday
RD Benji's Birthday
Brie Larson's Birthday
Drew Chadwick's Birthday
Isis King's Birthday
National Walk Your Dog Week
Elderly Filipino Week
Health Literacy Month
​​Italian American Heritage Month
Eat Better, Eat Together Month
Emotional Wellness Month
German American Heritage Month
National Caramel Month
National Chili Month
​National Dental Hygiene Month
​National Depression Education and Awareness Month
National Dessert Month
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
National Pasta Month
National Pickled Peppers Month
​National Pizza Month
​National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
National Pretzel Month
National Sausage Month
Polish American Heritage Month
​Fair Trade Month
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Caffeine Addiction Recovery Month
Vegetarian Month
National Chiropractic Month
Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
​Blindness Awareness Month
AIDS Awareness Month
Down Syndrome Awareness Month
​National ADHD Awareness Month
​National Critical Illness Awareness Month
​National Ergonomics Month
​National Liver Awareness Month
​National Protect Your Hearing Month
​Rett Syndrome Awareness Month
​World Menopause Month
​National Physical Therapy Month
​National Book Month
LGBTQ+ History Month
National Crime Prevention Month
Church Library Month
Halloween Safety Month
Go Sober For October
Italian American Heritage and Culture Month
Financial Planning Month
International Walk To School Month
National Apple Month
National Non-GMO Month
National Pescatarian Month
Celebrate The Bilingual Child Month
Bat Appreciation Month
National Cookie Month
National Medical Librarians Month
​National Learning and Development Month
Contact Lens Safety Month
Country Music Month
National Animal Safety and Protection Month
National Church Safety and Security Month
Head Start Awareness Month
Dyslexia Awareness Month
National Arts & Humanities Month
National Cookbook Month
Long Term Care Planning Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
National Audiology Awareness Month
National LGBT History Month
​National Bullying Prevention Month
Eye Injury Prevention Month
World Animal Month
National Pet Wellness Month
World Autism Month
Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month
World Habitat Awareness Month
Museums and Galleries Month
National Pitbull Awareness Month
Squirrel Awareness Month
National Orthodontic Health Month
​​Global Diversity Awareness Month
Family History Month
International School Libraries Month
Hog Out Month
Prenatal-onset GBS Disease Recognition Month
​Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Work and Family Month
​National Spina Bifida Awareness Month
The Big Draw
National Indigenous Peoples Month
American Pharmacists Month
Black Speculative Fiction Month
​Healthy Lung Month