Understanding & Acceptance of Autism
There is no secret that I LOVE my nephew Ethan to pieces. I love that he looks forward to seeing me when I visit and he calls me “Aunt TT”. It is also no secret that he has Autism. So since April is World Autism Month, I’ve decided to #LightItUpBlue with AutismSpeaks to increase understanding and awareness of autism. It’s highly likely that you know someone with autism too since the CDC estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in every 68 children in the United States. Despite these statistics many people still have no clue what Autism is and I want to help educate those people today!
Above is a recent picture of my nephew Ethan and me when I had to go up home to take care of my Dad after surgery. (The photo bomber in the back is my cutie pie niece Zoe!
Facts About Autism
Autism refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.
Autism’s most obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. AutismSpeaks encourages parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes.
The “Light It Up Blue” campaign is about more than awareness — it is about increasing understanding and acceptance of autism. This includes advocacy and support for people across the entire spectrum throughout their lives. It also includes advancing research into personalized treatments for autism and related conditions. I encourage you test your understanding of autism by taking this quiz!
Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include GI disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias. My Ethan has ADHD and a few of the other common issues that children with Autism suffer with. Thankfully with the current medication he is on he is able to control a lot of them.
You can help make a difference too by taking the Light It Up Blue Quiz to see how much you know about autism. If you’re moved to do so after visiting AutismSpeaks.org, please show your support for and understanding of the challenges faced by individuals with autism by sharing a photo to #LightItUpBlue for Autism Awareness Month too. Also, check out AutismSpeaks’ nationwide calendar of autism-friendly friendly events and activities in April.