As the month of April comes and goes, a very special cause is celebrated: Autism Awareness. April is dedicated to spreading information and fundraising for autism.
What is Autism?
One in every fifty-four children born in the United States is diagnosed with autism. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls. Common symptoms include difficulty with communication/social interactions, obsessive interests, and repetitive behaviors. Early recognition, as well as behavioral, educational, and family therapies may reduce symptoms and support development and learning. Treatments can help, but this condition cannot be cured. Researchers are currently exploring whether factors such as viral infections, medications, complications during pregnancy, or air pollutants play a role in triggering this disorder.
The demands of living with a person with autism are great, and families frequently experience high levels of stress. Parents have to deal with behaviors and pursue treatments; siblings might feel embarrassed or overlooked; it’s important for families to stay involved in the community. Recognizing and preparing for unforeseen challenges will make a tremendous difference to everyone.
Why wear blue?
In an effort to support the Autistic community, many schools and workplaces wear blue. Kerry Magro, an international motivational speaker on the autism spectrum claims, “When we wear blue, it’s not only about keeping that conversation going about autism but, it’s also making sure that those with autism and their families don’t feel alone.” He goes on to mention the hashtag, #LightItUpBlue!, a platform that people can upload photos and connect globally about their experiences. Together we can show our support for the Autistic community. This month, be on the lookout for blue spirit days!
Spirit shirt for Autism Awareness
— Paige Smagala