CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When Debbie Ferrell's son Nathan was first diagnosed with autism at age 3, she felt hopeless and overwhelmed. "Your whole world falls apart," she said at an event Tuesday to celebrate world Autism Awareness Day at the Childhood Language Center on Capitol Street.

The  Childhood Language Center at 406 Capitol St. hosted an open house for World Autism Awareness Day. Blue is the color of Autism Awareness, and individuals can support the cause by displaying a blue light bulb or wearing blue.

CHARLESTON - The sixth annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2013. Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events.

The Childhood Language Center in Charleston held an open house called "Light it up Blue". Crowds showed up for the lunch, tours and giveaways.

A Charleston organization wants to shine a light on autism.

Autism Speaks said autism is one of the fastest growing disabilities in America, with one in 88 children affected.

To celebrate World Autism Awareness Day on Tuesday, Charleston-based Childhood Language Center hosted its "Light it up Blue" open house. Dozens of community members came out to show their support and learn more about autism, while enjoying lunch and blue velvet cupcakes donated by Lil' Bit of Heaven Cupcakes.

Event to highlight World Autism Awareness Day

The Childhood Language Center will host an open house for World Autism Awareness Day April 2, with a keynote presentation at noon at 406 Capitol Street.

Lunch, tours, giveaways and prize drawings will be provided to the community from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and the first 100 people wearing blue in the door will receive a blue light bulb from Home Depot, noted Executive Director Holly Martin. Blue is the color of autism awareness, and businesses and individuals can support the cause by displaying a blue light bulb or “lighting up blue” in April.