Autism Awareness Month
April is Autism Awareness month and today, April 2, is World Autism Day. Today is meant to create understanding of the disorder and honor those affected.
According to a report released in 2018 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that affects approximately 1 in 59 children in the United States. The condition impairs communication and social interaction. Since autism is a spectrum disorder it has many subtypes and each person diagnosed with autism has their own unique set of skills and challenges. According to Autism Speaks, an organization promoting autism awareness and research, indicators of autism usually appear by age 2 or 3 but can also appear as early as 18 months.
A puzzle piece/ brightly colored puzzle piece ribbon has been designated as the logo for autism. While some debate surrounds the image, it has been said to represent several ideas, including that each person diagnosed with autism is unique, that the condition is puzzling and that the cure is the missing piece. The bright colors are also said to represent the diversity and broad spectrum of the disorder.
It is important to be aware of autism and embrace those who have been diagnosed with it. Many autistic individuals are exceptionally intelligent and have much to contribute to society. They can all teach us valuable life lessons and deserve to be treated the same as you and me.
For more information regarding autism and methods of offering support, visit www.autismspeaks.org or www.autism-society.org