Did you know that April is Autism Awareness Month? Most of us have met an individual with Autism, and there is plenty we can do to help increase awareness. Here are some facts about Autism:
Autism is a spectrum disorder. This means that there is variation in the way it affects people. Those on the autism spectrum have unique abilities, presentation in symptoms, and challenges.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 68 children have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Boys are four to five times higher risk than girls.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by:
- Persistent deficits in social communication;
- Persistent deficits in social interaction;
- Restricted and/or repetitive patterns of behavior;
- Symptoms are present in the early developmental period;
The Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community.
Here are some great opportunities for us to participate:
- Connect in your neighborhood by contacting your local Autism Society. The New Orleans local branch is the Autism Society of Greater New Orleans (www.asgno.org). They sponsor many events and provide informational sessions about Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- Encourage your kids to participate in activities that involve children with ASD, such as Miracle League.
- Contact your representatives at the state and federal levels and ask them to “Vote 4 Autism.”
- Make a donation to the Autism Society to support education, awareness, advocacy, research, and assistance for families living with autism. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
- Autism Society of Greater New orleans (www.asgno.org)
- Autism Society (http://www.autism-society.org/)
- Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Parent’s Guide to Symptoms and Diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum (http://www.helpguide.org/mental/autism_spectrum.htm)
- National Autism Awareness Month (http://www.autism-society.org/get-involved/national-autism-awareness-month/)
- Mental Health and Education (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/index.shtml)