World Autism Awareness Day
Harrison, 5, who is autistic, plays with Kaspar, a child-sized humanoid robot developed at the University of Hertfordshire to interact and help improve the lives of children with autism, in Stevenage, Britain Jan. 30, 2017. Reuters

World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) was adopted by the United Nations in 2007 to highlight the growing healthy crisis globally. Since then, it is celebrated on April 2 each year.

"Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life and results from a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, mostly affecting children in many countries irrespective of gender, race or socio-economic status, and characterized by impairments in social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication and restricted, repetitive behaviour, interests and activities," according to the resolution adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on Dec. 18, 2007.

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On April 2 every year, Autism Speaks — an autism advocacy organization in the U.S. founded in 2005 — celebrates the start of its signature campaign "Light It Up Blue," which is dedicated to raising awareness about autism. Thousands of iconic landmarks and buildings around the world join the campaign. Various autism-friendly events take place the whole month. The White House will be also lit up in blue Sunday.

Here are 11 inspirational quotes from Autism Speaks and The Art of Autism.

“Kids have to be exposed to different things in order to develop. A child’s not going to find out he likes to play a musical instrument if you never exposed him to it.” Temple Grandin

​“Autism can’t define me. I define autism.” Kerry Magro

"Our experiences are all unique. Regardless, I do believe that it is important to find the beautiful. Recognize that there is bad, there is ugly, there is disrespect, there is ignorance and there are meltdowns. Those things are inevitable. But there is also good." Erin McKinney

“At the end of the day, we don’t dream our lives…We live them!” Anthony Ianni

“I believe that inside every person who is bullied there is a strength and a tenacity to survive. You don’t always know that this strength exists, but if you make it through those dark times, you become aware. You become a survivor, someone whose courage and spirit is far stronger than all of the hate and cruelty of their bullies. The one thing that I want to impart to children with autism is knowledge of their own inner strength, and the belief that one day at a time, they, too, can get through this.” Amy Gravino

“Our wounds and hurts and fears are in our eyes. Humans think they build ‘walls’ for internal privacy. They think eye contact is about honesty but they mostly lie because they think they can hide their intent. Eye contact is invasive.” Carol Ann Edscorn

“English is my 2nd language. Autism is my first.” Dani Bowman

“We contain the shapes of trees and the movement of rivers and stars within us.” Patrick Jasper Lee

"Wanting to be free. Wanting to be me. Trying to make people see. And accept the real me." Scott Lentine

“Rome was not built on the first day. I need time to build the Eiffel Tower of my life.” Jeremy Sicile-Kira

"I might hit developmental and societal milestones in a different order than my peers, but I am able to accomplish these small victories on my own time." Haley Moss