April is Autism Awareness Month. Did you know that more than 3 million Americans live with a form of autism? Autism, or Austin Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a development disability that affects an individual’s ability to interact with others, and typically appears during the early childhood developmental stages. There are actually many types of autism, and each is influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, and social influences.
While autism doesn’t ever fully go away, when treated from an early age, quality of life can significantly improve. Know the signs:
• Delayed learning of spoken language.
• Repetitive use of language and mannerisms.
• Struggle to make eye contact and hold a conversation.
• Unusual, intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights, or color.
• Restricted interests and fixation on parts of an object.
• Poor motor skills.
Everyone has unique strengths and weaknesses, and life is better when we realize each other’s strengths. If you have a friend or family member on the autism spectrum, make the most of your relationship by being inclusive, communicative, understanding, and respectful.
What else can you do to be involved in Autism Awareness Month?
• Celebrate those with autism for who they are.
• Participate in a fundraising event or make a donation to support an autism organization.
• Educate yourself on the latest findings, therapies, and treatment.
For more information visit: https://www.autismspeaks.org