Celebrating autism- Autism Awareness Month

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Celebrating autism- Autism Awareness Month

Autism Spectrum Disorder is highlighted during the month of April across the United States.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is highlighted during the month of April across the United States.

Designed by Casey Cumberland

Autism Spectrum Disorder is highlighted during the month of April across the United States.

Designed by Casey Cumberland

Designed by Casey Cumberland

Autism Spectrum Disorder is highlighted during the month of April across the United States.

Kenzie Haberman, Writer

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World Autism Day was on April 2, which marks an entire month dedicated to those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). According to www.psychcentral.com, “Autism affects about one in 50 kids in the United States.” Awareness for Autism is important, so more kids can be diagnosed and receive care. Autism affects many people in communities, and this month, the focus is on celebrating it.

Autism is a neurological disorder that can be diagnosed in most kids by the age of three. Part of the problem in diagnosing autism is the wide range of behaviors and abilities that come with it. Some children with ASD have difficulty learning and show signs of lower than normal intelligence. Other children with ASD can have normal to high intelligence and learn quickly but have trouble communicating and adjusting to social situations. Junior Wyatt Clausen, who has autism, said, “Try avoiding labels and stereotypes.” People with autism have unique brains that function differently so communicating can differ from having a conversation with someone without autism.

The exact causes of autism are still unknown. Some theories have triggered controversies, such as the role of vaccinations, or the importance of dietary factors such as gluten. Autism and related conditions tend to run in families, suggesting clear evidence for a genetic link. Other factors seem to contribute to a greater risk of Autism, such as premature born children and children with older fathers. Currently, more males are being diagnosed with autism compared to their counterparts. Results may vary, but www.autism.org says, “Various studies, together with anecdotal evidence have come up with men/women ratios ranging from 2:1 to 16:1.”

Autism Awareness Month spreads awareness and the understanding that not everyone’s brain works the same way. With that understanding comes patience and flexibility when you are working with a variety of different people.

— Ms. Jessica Henrickson

All human brains operate differently, and Autism Awareness month celebrates that. Special Education teacher, Ms. Jessica Henrickson, said, “Autism Awareness Month spreads awareness and the understanding that not everyone’s brain works the same way. With that understanding comes patience and flexibility when you are working with a variety of different people.” Everyone is different and should be treated as an individual. Everyone has different strengths and needs. Embracing autism will help everyone to become more open-minded and accepted.

Autism Speaks, the organization that founded World Autism Awareness Day, was founded in 2005. The organization was created by Bob and Suzanne Wright, who have a grandson with autism. In addition, Autism Speaks also founded the Light It Up Blue campaign, which brings awareness and acceptance using the signature color blue, and The Power of One March, a march that takes place in Washington D.C. on the night of April 2. Although seen as slightly controversial among the autism community, the organization quickly became one of the largest autism-related non-profits in the world. Today they work on deepening the research for Autism, as well as funding and promoting different Autism fundraiser events, where they encourage many to participate in through their website.

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