April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day! It was designated as such by the United Nations General Assembly in late 2007, and the recognition has been observed ever since. And there’s no better time of year to remind ourselves of our fellow citizens living with autism and build awareness of the condition.
It starts with awareness.
Autism is a neural developmental disorder that affects many parts of an individual’s daily life. It impacts social interaction, imagination, self-regulation, the ability to communicate, and the ability to establish and maintain relationships with others. Experts believe that autism is a spectrum, with individuals existing on that spectrum at various points.
Autism is a lifelong disorder, and children will begin showing signs before the age of three. Most adults living with autism do not live independently. And autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the United States. One out of every 54 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder — that’s more than 5 million children and adults.
With understanding comes acceptance.
When you understand autism and what it means for those living with the condition, you’ll be able to do more than just be aware of it. You’ll start to accept it. That’s the goal of the Autism Society of America. In fact, they’re working to federally and globally designate April as Autism Acceptance Month, moving away from the common phrase “Autism Awareness Month.”
You can help.
The Autism Society of America helps more than 600,000 people affected by autism every year. And you can help with that effort. For example, a donation of $25 provides autistic individuals with one hour of support from the national helpline. $200 supports program development across the Society’s entire network. Consider donating to this important and worthwhile cause.
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