NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Blue lights will shine on buildings in cities from Delhi to Manhattan to mark World Autism Awareness Day with the annual Light It Up Blue event.

As WCBS 880’S Monica Miller reported, a recent study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 1 in every 45 children in New Jersey has autism spectrum disorder, the highest rate in the nation.

Nationally, the rate is 1 in every 68 kids.

“No one has a real handle on why exactly it’s 1 in 45,” Jonathan Sabin with the New Jersey Department of Human Services told Miller. “Is it the fact that we have some of the best services in the country here in New Jersey?”

The director of the office on autism said awareness is important for a condition that little was known about a generation ago.

“Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, most characterized typically by someone having some more difficulties with social interactions,” Sabin said.

Sesame Street puppet Abby Cadabby will flip the switch Wednesday evening to illuminate the Empire State Building’s lights in blue.

More than 8,400 iconic buildings and structures across the country will also be lit in blue today, including the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, the Aspen Mountains in Colorado and the New Jersey governor’s residence.

Globally, the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, the Sydney Opera House and the International Space Station will be illuminated blue.

April is Autism Awareness Month.

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