In America, 1 in 59 children are diagnosed to be on the autism spectrum. For over 40 years, to promote autism awareness, National Autism Awareness Month has been observed each April. In this post, we’ll explore how professionals define autism, learn about how autism month helps families across the country, provide ways for you to get involved in national autism month and inform you about to get in touch with a doctor to learn more.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that encompasses a group of neurodevelopment disorders diagnosed by patterns of repetitive, characteristic and socially deficient behavior. The symptoms surface in children during early childhood, occurs in every racial group and affects both genders, though more boys are diagnosed to have ASD than girls.
Research implies that autism stems from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Children with a sibling or a parent that have autism are more likely to also have it as well as those who were impacted by a complication their mother had while pregnant or giving birth. Vaccines, however, do not cause autism and extensive studies have been performed in recent years to confirm this fact.
To treat autism, early intervention shows the most promise of providing positive life-long outcomes for those diagnosed. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), speech and occupational therapy and medicines are often used to manage autism.
Many of those diagnosed with autism grow up to lead very normal, productive lives, which include being part of the workforce, building families of their own and navigating the effects of autism independently as adults.
About National Autism Awareness Month
April is designated as National Autism Awareness Month to spread awareness, ignite change and promote acceptance for those living with autism. The 2020 theme for this annual observance is “Celebrate Differences.” By sharing stories about autistic loved ones and educating the public on how and why autistic persons behave the way they do, we can reduce painful stigmas and improve the way we all interact and treat those affected. Those who don’t have a family member, friend or colleague with autism are encouraged to follow hashtags, click on links and ask questions to proactively learn more about the disorder.
How to Get Involved
There are many easy ways to get involved in National Autism Awareness Month.
The website autismawarenessmonth.org offers free digital resources such as printable posters, detailed infographics and more. Want more ideas? You’re invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional support.
Be vigilant about sharing positive, factual articles about autism research, progress and news via social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Be sure use the official hashtag #CelebrateDifferences to boost the signal.
Choose an autism charity that aligns with your values and host a fundraiser for them. You can solicit donations amongst friends and family online through various tools and platforms, free of charge.
Take the Pledge
Complete the form on this page to commit to take action and sign up for an informational newsletter to stay in the loop with autism information updates.
Join the Community
Though in-person events to celebrate the month have been canceled to adhere to Coronavirus social distancing guidelines, there is still support available online. Autism Speaks has a page dedicated to navigating the pandemic and the CDC provides a list of recommended helpful websites covering a wide range of autism support topics.
Talk to a Doctor for More Information
Do you think your child may have autism? Or has your child been diagnosed, but you’d like tools to help navigate their disorder as a family? Consult with a professional at Western Washington Medical Group who can help. Request an appointment with our Family Practice here, or drop by one of our convenient walk-in clinics. For more general inquiries, complete the form on this page.