Home > Awareness, Government Relations, Light It Up Blue > Presidential Proclamation – World Autism Awareness Day

Presidential Proclamation – World Autism Awareness Day




With autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) affecting nearly one percent of children in the United States, autism is an urgent public health issue with a profound impact on millions of Americans. World Autism Awareness Day is an opportunity to recognize the contributions of individuals with ASDs and rededicate ourselves to the cause of understanding and responding to autism.

Men and women on the autism spectrum have thrived and excelled in communities across America and around the world. Yet, despite great progress in understanding ASDs, challenges remain for these individuals and their loved ones. For too long, the needs of people living with autism and their families have gone without adequate support and understanding. While we continue to encourage the development of resources for children on the autism spectrum and provide necessary resources for their families, we must also remember that young people with ASDs become adults with ASDs who deserve our support, our respect, and the opportunity to realize their highest aspirations.

As our understanding of the autism spectrum grows, my Administration remains dedicated to supporting children and adults impacted by autism. Led by the Department of Health and Human Services, we have expanded investments in autism research, public health tracking, early detection, and services — from early intervention for children to improved long-term services and support programs for adults. My Administration maintains a firm commitment to advance autism research and treatment, as well as promote education, employment, and equality for all individuals with autism, from early childhood through employment and community life. We will continue to work with the Congress, experts, and families to improve Federal and State programs that assist individuals with ASDs and their families and to bolster the impact and reach of community support and services. I encourage all Americans to visit http://www.HHS.gov/autism for more information and resources on ASDs.

With each breakthrough in research and each innovative treatment, we open endless possibilities for the many American families who have been touched by autism. As we mark World Autism Awareness Day, let us recommit to improving the lives of individuals and families impacted by ASDs and creating a world free from discrimination where all can achieve their fullest potential.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2 of each year as World Autism Awareness Day. I call upon the people of the United States to learn more about autism and what they can do to support individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.


  1. April 1, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Thats great, however the President was asked to Light Up the White House BLUE on that night. He doesnt say here whether he plans to do it or not. Does anyone have an update as to his intentione sto do it or not?

  2. April 1, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    A blue light in the portico would have had the effect of 1000 of these letters. Thank you President Obama for proclaiming World Autism Awareness Day, but I am severely disappointed that you could not turn one light blue in the White House.

  3. April 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm


  4. tm
    April 2, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I am autistic, and I think Autism Awareness Day is ridiculous. (Cf Morgan Freeman on Black History Month.)

    Also: I am not a puzzle piece.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm

      I understand you are autistic, I have an autistic son and I feel that the more awareness and attention we can give this disability the better. The more people that know about autism and how serious it is, the more companies can get involved and more research can be done. I do not see any negative aspects of having an Autistism Awareness Day, why are you so against it. It makes no sense.

  5. Retrofresh
    April 2, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Just wondering, don’t really mean to be a devil’s advocate, how can the leader of one country proclaim a “world” anything? Wouldn’t he have to be working with the United Nations or something?

  6. Katie Wright
    April 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I was disappointed.
    The President and Secretary Sebelius should have done more

  7. Sheryl Honer
    April 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    The Procolmation was nice but lighting up the White House would have made a powerfull statement. It would have ment alot to more people than you could ever be aware of. You light for Breast Cancer and Aides are we not just as important of cause. You live with Autism for 27 years and let me tell you lighting something blue is a small thing and My Son did just that and is proud of it. His sister made all her co-workers and Dr wear blue. One Dr. Asked her who had Autism and she told him it did not matter it was important to support the cause.

  8. April 3, 2011 at 4:34 am

    We hope as an association of autistic children that our leaders learn to recognize our children’s rights and do the same,because in our contry ALGERIA Autism is unknown and we are suffering with our children.

  9. Yohannie
    April 3, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I have to say that I am disappointed. I was expecting at least one light blue at the White House but that’s politics, no politician will want bring to bring that much attention to our struggles. Such a little thing to do, we did it at home for son, my sisters and closest my family members follow our steps. And not only at home, at work and even by changing their profile pics in social networking sites. But we shall not dismay, at some point the message will come across.

    I would like to ad, TM, I don’t think any child or adult with Autism are puzzles. However, for parents like me, is difficult to comprehend what is completely foreign to us. We feel puzzled by what we can’t fully understand. My baby regressed and every day I hope I can get closer to understand him. I adore him, for who he was and who he is. Nothing has change!!

  10. April 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I agree that this is great….Weather or not it is proclaimed us parents would still continue to celebrate April 2nd…… More awareness could have been spread by Obama lighting up the house blue for the day!! This would have raised far more attention…..

  11. elise baucum
    April 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    they meed moe awareness and more funding to find
    acause and how to stop this brain disorder.

  12. Rosendo Rivera
    April 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    I was expecting someone from the main office to shine some blue light or bring attention to our struggles. My grandson Gabriel and I thank you President OBAMA.

  13. Renata Irving
    April 9, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    The United Nations declared World Autism Awareness Day a few years ago,
    so the President, a few governors, and mayors proclaimed them for their
    states and cities to show support for the families and bring world-wide awareness to the cause for research. Mrs. Obama and wives/husbands of heads-of-state around the world meet once a year for conferences.
    If you go to worldautismawareness.org, you can get a copy of a proclamation for your mayor,and see what countries are doing world wide.
    Mr. Obama was also very active in IL for Autism before he was president.
    I believe he is sincere and thank him for the efforts. Hillary Clinton’s office
    sent me a nice fax to read to the families at our candlelight vigil a few years
    ago when AZ was trying to pass Autism insurance legislation. People do care.

  14. vaisson
    June 7, 2011 at 9:17 am


  1. April 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm
  2. April 2, 2011 at 3:05 am
  3. April 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm
  4. April 28, 2011 at 8:08 am

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