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April is Autism Awareness Month

April Is Autism Awareness Month

Autism is a developmental disorder that can cause social, communication, and behavioral issues.

In the year 2000, autism affected 1 in 150 children. In 2014, a study by the Centers for Disease Control found that autism now affects 1 in 68 children.

For some unknown reason, autism affects boys more than girls, occurring in 1 in every 42 boys and 1 in every 189 girls.

The number of children diagnosed with autism  has grown exponentially since 2000.  It is debatable if the increased numbers are related to a wider range of diagnosis criteria or if it is more related to genetics, environmental and biologic causes.

Signs of autism typically develop during early childhood and include:

  • No babbling by 12 months of age
  • No smiles or joyful expressions by six months or later
  • Not pointing or waving by 12 months
  • No words by 16 months
  • No meaningful two word phrases by 24 months
  • Any loss of speech, babbling, or social skills
  • Frequent repeating of words or phrases that may have been heard (echolalia)
  • Unusual focus on pieces or parts of toys, such as wheels
  • The need for a strict routine, with strong resistance to change
  • Preoccupation with certain topics
  • Body rocking and hand flapping
  • Difficulty understanding emotions and expressing them
  • Poor eye contact

There is no known cause of autism, but early detection and intervention can result in improved outcomes. Common therapies for children with autism include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and applied behavior analysis (ABA).

Did you know that April is Autism Awareness Month?

Creating awareness is big in helping people to understand autism. We talk a lot about acceptance in the autism world, but we have to know what we are being accepting of first. So here’s what I plan to do about it…

  1. I will be posting #30DaysofAutismFacts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus every day to help create awareness.
  2. On World Autism Awareness Day, I am hosting a LIUB event, encouraging persons to wear blue on 4/2, take a selfie, and post it on FB with the hashtags: #AutismAwareness #ForDaniel #LIUB. So far, almost 300 people have participated! If you want to participate, click here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1398858183763050
  3. All throughout the month of April, I will be writing posts about autism, starting with the basics of autism (awareness).  During mid-month, I’ll be discussing how autism affects families and the importance of advocacy. The end of the month will conclude with posts about the beauty of autism (acceptance). I also plan to write some inclusion posts. By the way, if you are looking for posts on celebrating autism awareness month at churches and schools, please click the respective links.

Feel free to share these posts and leave comments. I would love to chat with you!

Have a blessed day!

Tonya

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