April is Recognized as Autism Awareness Month

April is Recognized as Autism Awareness Month

Lion's Roar Staff, Writer

The month of April is recognized as Autism Awareness Month.  According to www.autismspeaks.org, “hundreds of thousands of landmarks, buildings, homes and communities around the world come together on April 2, Autism Awareness Day, to Light It Up Blue in recognition of people with autism and those who love and support them”.

According to the Autism Speaks website, Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 54 children in the United States today.

Carmen Pingree Autism Center for Learning displays the subtypes of Autism.

There are numerous subtypes of Autism, most influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. “Autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn, think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged (autismspeaks.org).”

People with ASD may need significant support in their everyday routine, while others may need less support and, in some cases, live entirely independently.

The www.autismspeaks.org website also points out: “Multiple factors may influence the development of autism, and it is often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and medical issues such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures or sleep disorders, as well as mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression and attention issues. Signs of autism usually appear by age 2 or 3. Some associated development delays can appear even earlier, and often, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Research shows that early intervention leads to positive outcomes.” later in life for people with autism.