Shine a light on autism for Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact. Autism has increased in diagnosis in the United States recently, and yet is widely unrecognized. In fact, autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the U.S. and costs a family $60,000 a year on average. Even with those costs, there is still no cure for autism.
If you’re interested in learning more about autism from a personal perspective, read “The Reason I Jump” by Naoki Higashida. Naoki is severely autistic and is unable to communicate without a keyboard. Take a moment to learn more about autism and teach others, too. Here are three facts for autism awareness:
The signs—Be aware of the signs of autism, because they may not be so apparent. Here are just a few: no big smiles or warm expressions by six months, no babbling by 12 months, no words by 16 months, any loss of speech or social skills at any age.
The treatment—Every child is unique, and since autism has a variety of severities, each treatment should be tailored to each child and each diagnosis. Although, it is strongly recommended that if autism is suspected in an infant or toddler, an early intervention therapy is started. There are many specialized autism therapists to help families.
Prevalence—In March 2014, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found in a new study that 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) is identified as having an autism disorder.