National Autism Awareness Month


     It is Saturday, April 9th 2016 and it is a gorgeous day outside! I decided to write a blog about what is going on this month, but first wanted to address a very important factor concerning the month of April. It is definitely time for Spring, but in addition to blooming flowers and sunny days, this month is also known as National Autism Awareness Month. I wanted to take the time to bring awareness to my followers and my readers by breaking down a few facts about autism. I am motivating others to research and recognize signs or symptoms in your child that may actually help with early detection and treatment.

So what exactly is autism?

     Autism is also known as autism spectral disorder (ASD) and is a complex developmental disorder that impairs the ability which children should possess in order to communicate or interact with others. This affects up to 3.5 million people in the U.S. and tens to millions of people worldwide. There is not a known cure for autism, but with early detection and diagnosis it can definitely be treated and help to make the diagnosed individuals lifestyle smoother and more successful. More than 20,000 cases of autism are reported per year and it is known to be four to five times more common in boys than it is in girls. An estimated 1 out of 42 boys are diagnosed with autism in the U.S. while 1 out of 189 girls are diagnosed per year. There is no known cause for autism just as there is no one type of autism. Autism and it’s symptoms vary in different individuals. There are some diagnosed who are able to live and perform normal lives with mild symptoms and others who possess significant disability and are unable to live as independently. Only 25 percent are nonverbal and possess other means of communication. Each individual with autism is very unique.

What are signs and symptoms to look for?

     There are several different signs and symptoms to recognize in your child for early detection of autism. There may be several developmental signs to recognize in your child’s early stages of brain development. Their symptoms can become apparent between them being the ages of 18 to 24 months old. These are the exciting stages in their early development when they should be speaking their first words and full sentences, showing interest in certain objects/activities, cooing, gesturing, and waving. The following developmental symptoms of autism can include:
  • Learning disabilities or a delay in learning how to speak
  • Intense interest in a limited number or things/objects or paying attention
  • Inappropriate social interaction or poor eye contact
  • Compulsive behaviors, impulsivity, repetitive movements, self harm
  • Persistent repetition of words or actions.
  • Unaware of others emotions or depression
  • Anxiety
  • Change in voice
  • Sensitivity to sound
Symptoms of autism can be different for every child and just because your child may possess a couple of these symptoms, there is certainly no need for panic or self diagnosis. Autism can also be confused with another condition which includes these symptoms called sensory processing disorder. If you do feel your child has problems in personality or emotion and possess many of these symptoms, please make plans to get them examined by a neurologist, psychologist, or a learning consultant who would be able to confirm a diagnosis and move ahead with necessary treatment for your child. Now let’s get to the GREAT part and why this month is so important and vital for us to have an understanding and compassion for those diagnosed with ASD.

Why they are so awesome!

When some people hear the word autism, they at times feel this may also mean the fact that it has to do with someone having a disability which would cause them to be excluded in schools, keep them from performing normal activities, or even being able to interact with other people at all. This is quite the contrary! Those diagnosed with autism possess EXCEPTIONAL gifts and mental abilities that others do not. They pick up on activities and subjects that may take others sometimes weeks and even YEARS to learn on their own much more quickly and thoroughly. Many possess exceptional abilities in visual skills, music, and academics. They take a much deserved pride in their distinctive abilities and have a very “atypical” way of viewing the world. I became quite interested in autism and the facts and symptoms when I was made aware about this month from a GREAT friend of mine who’s son is diagnosed with autism and happens to be one of the coolest kids I have ever met. This blog is dedicated to just how strong and eccentric he happens to be and I have definitely been wearing blue (the color representing Autism Awareness Month) in support of him and others!

The month of April is dedicated to educating your community about autism and is dedicated to creating awareness and inclusion in schools and places worldwide for those diagnosed. So please do further research and make sure to visit the link and the site below to gain your knowledge on activities surrounding this month such as conferences and expositions, donations, and more facts and statistics concerning ASD. You may also become a member of the Autism Society. Furthermore,  in support of National Autism Awareness month, the color blue is proudly worn and displayed! Wear the color blue proudly and take part in your community so that we may better educate others and accommodate those who successfully live their daily lives with autism! Thank you for taking the time to read and have an EXTRAORDINARY day!


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