It is timely that my column runs today. It's the beginning of April, which also means the start of Autism Awareness Month.

It is timely that my column runs today. It's the beginning of April, which also means the start of Autism Awareness Month.

Tomorrow is World Autism Awareness Day, which is also Light It Up Blue.

Light It Up Blue is a way to raise autism awareness. It is sponsored through Autism Speaks, the largest organization working on research, helping families and finding a cure.

Landmarks throughout the world such as the Empire State Building, the London Eye, the Eiffel Tower and many more, will be lit blue starting tonight.

You don't necessarily need to have blue lights everywhere, but you can still support it by simply wearing blue or making blue cookies in the shape of puzzle pieces.

Whatever way you take part, remember to Light It Up Blue.

Spreading awareness is key, especially after a report released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) late last week.

The report stated that the overall prevalence of autism is now 1 in 68. This is an estimated 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls, as boys are five times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.

It was only months ago that the prevalence was 1 in 88 diagnosed. The rate continues to rise.

In fact, autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States. Just 10 years ago the prevalence was 1 in 150 diagnosed.

The CDC states the increase is likely due to a greater awareness of autism as well as better techniques for diagnosis, which are both supported by Autism Speaks research and grants.

However, while research keeps identifying factors that lead to a higher risk of autism, the CDC says around half of the reported increase is unexplained.

While the prevalence increases and though it's a scary thought, there is more reason to spread awareness and learn more about autism.

Even still, those already on the spectrum and newly diagnosed individuals are unique and we should love them no matter what.

One great way to spread awareness and support these individuals is coming up this Saturday, April 5 at Gravity Alley in Honesdale.

I'll be hosting the 3rd Annual Bowling for Autism, this year supporting Dyberry Day Camp, which serves developmentally delayed children in Wayne and Pike County, providing for a month of leisure time activity during July. The camp is sponsored by The Arc, Wayne County.

Come out and bowl all you want for a great cause from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are just $20 and include games, shoe rental, food and drink.

Did I mention ice cream is also involved?

DJ Dennis of Waymart will be providing entertainment during the event.

There will also be a drawing, with prizes from area businesses and individuals. Tickets for the drawing will be sold at arm's length for $5.

Even if all you come for is the raffle or to make a donation, all are welcome. All proceeds raised will help Dyberry Day Camp continue to serve these amazing individuals.

Hope to see you on April 5!

Waters is a staff writer for The Wayne Independent and can be reached at