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Thursday, 29 March 2018 10:08

World Autism Month - April 2018

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Every April, Autism Speaks kicks off World Autism Month beginning with UN sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.
Joined by the international community, hundreds of thousands of landmarks, buildings, homes and communities around the world, light blue is worn in recognition of people living with autism. Or, the multicolored puzzle ribbon is also worn to be aware of this condition. Autism-friendly events and educational activities take place all month to increase understanding and acceptance and foster worldwide support. Why is this so important? Unless you are a parent of an autitsic child you probably have no concept of how life altering this illness actually is.
It has a ripple effect on a family. The autistic child needs more care, time, and support, it literally wears the parents out, both physically and emotionally. Even parents of an autistic child can disagree on  the care of a needy child on so many levels. And it's not just the parents that suffer, it is also unfair for the other children in the family. They need their parents' attention too.
In the United States, autism affects 1 in every 110 children.  The goal of National Autism Awareness Month is to make the public more aware about this widespread disability and the issues that arise in the autism community. This month of April is backed by the Autism Society of America which undertake a number of activities to raise awareness about autism. The Autism Society has local chapters throughout the United States which hold special events throughout this month. 
It's been said that autism is widespread, but awareness about this condition is not. Sadly, outsiders unknowingly judge an autistic child. They might just think the child is being uncooperative, defiant and unruly. It is so much more than that. A better informed public will be more empathetic and supportive towards children and adults with autism. In case you are not aware, there are common characteristics found in those with this complex disability. Keep in mind no two people with autism will have the same set of symptoms. Very briefly, these characteristics include but are not limited to:
  • Generally impaired social skills  
  • Lack of empathy 
  • Dislike of physical contact.
  • Sudden changes to environment 
  • Repeated speech patterns 
  • Dislike of changes to behavior and routine 
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