Autism Speaks Celebrates Fifth Annual World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), executives and guests of Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, visit the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) and Autism Awareness Month.  The organization will also mark the third Light It Up Blue campaign, a global initiative taking place the evening of April 2, where over 2000 iconic buildings and landmarks across North America and the world, including the New York Stock Exchange and NYSE Euronext markets in Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon, London and Paris, will illuminate their structures in blue to raise awareness for autism.

For the fifth consecutive year, Autism Speaks Co-founders Suzanne and Bob Wright will ring The Opening BellSM at the New York Stock Exchange.  They will be joined by Duncan Niederauer, CEO of NYSE Euronext; H.E. Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, as well as families and individuals affected by autism.

Additionally, NYSE Euronext markets in Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon and Paris will open or close the trading day on April 2 with executives from world autism organizations in recognition of World Autism Awareness Day.  The global bell ringing events will include:

NYSE Euronext Amsterdam

Representatives from The Dutch Autism Association (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Autisme) will sound the opening gong at NYSE Euronext Amsterdam.

NYSE Euronext Brussels

Representatives of Autism-Europe, APEPA and Vlaamse Vereniging Autisme will ring the opening bell at NYSE Euronext Brussels

NYSE Euronext Lisbon

The president of the Federação Portuguesa de Autismo (APPDA Lisboa), Isabel Cottinelli Telmo, will ring the closing bell at NYSE Euronext Lisbon

NYSE Euronext Paris

The Vice-President of Autism-Europe, Mrs. Evelyne Friedel, and André Masin, President of the “Association Française de Gestion de services et établissements pour personnes autistes (AFG)” will ring the opening bell at NYSE Euronext Paris.

About Autism

Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 110 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 600 percent increase in the past two decades that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.

About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed over $173 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 95 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit