Yorktown sheds light on autism awareness

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- The Fighting Lady will be looking a little blue next month, but it's all to shed light on an important initiative.

On April 2, the USS Yorktown will "Light It Up Blue" in support of autismawareness and will stay blue for the whole month.

April 2 wasdesignated as World Autism Awareness Day by the United Nations General Assemblyin 1997.{}

"Patriots Point is proudto support this important initiative, which shines light a disability thataffects millions of people around the world and one of every 88 children in theUnited States," said Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette. "Althoughthere is no medical detection or cure for autism, early diagnosis andintervention can improve outcomes. We're proud to do our part to help raiseawareness."

A government survey of parents in the U.S. says 1 in 50 schoolchildren has autism. That surpasses another federal estimate for the disorder.

For decades, autism meant kids with severe language, intellectual and social impairments and unusual, repetitious behaviors. But the definition has gradually expanded and now includes milder, related conditions.

The new estimate released earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would mean at least one million children have autism.