Last night, the Town of Wilton joined the “Light It Up Blue,” campaign, helping to shine a bright light on the growing health crisis of autism by Lighting It Up Blue across Town Hall.

Wilton joined iconic landmarks such as the Empire State Building, the Great Pyramids, Sydney Opera House, Christ the Redeemer Statue and thousands of others as part of the annual Autism Speaks event, “Light It Up Blue,” held every April 2 in commemoration of the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day. “Light It Up Blue” is a unique global initiative that kicks-off April as Autism Awareness Month and helps bring more attention to and awareness about autism. In honor of this historic day, many iconic landmarks, hotels, sporting venues, concert halls, museums, bridges and retail stores “go blue.”

Just last month, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released statistics from a new study showing that autism rates have increased nearly 30 percent between 2008 and 2010 and have more than doubled in the last 15 years. Alarmingly, 1 in every 68 children is diagnosed with autism, up from 1-in-88 just two years ago. The incidence among boys is even sharper–1 in 42 boys are identified as being on the autism spectrum. According to the CDC data, that makes boys five times as likely to be diagnosed as girls.

Campaigns like “Light it Up Blue” are hopeful that an increase in autism awareness will help promote more compassion and understanding, in addition to better diagnosis, therapies and support for families of children and a growing number of adults who are living with autism.

“On behalf of the Parent Advisory Board (PAB) of Wilton Public Schools, I would like to give a special thanks to the First Selectman’s Office and Mike S. Ahern of Wilton Public Works and the field engineer who made this possible, for their time, effort and support,” said Carolina Korrigan the chair of the PAB.