This week marks the start of April. Now, as most people think about their April Fools’ pranks or what their Easter plans might be. However, in these hard times, a community in the world is celebrated for being well... themselves! These celebrators are people who have autism.
April is Autism Awareness Month with Autism Awareness Day being April 2nd. According to the CDC, autism is a developmental disability that can cause struggles in different areas of development. Every person with autism has their own set of challenges and strengths. Some challenges include social skills, communication and repetitive behaviors. People with autism may have other issues related to health such as sleeping problems, sensory sensitivity, and emotional struggles like anxiety and depression, amongst others. People with autism may need assistance to address struggles. Different therapies such as speech and language, physical therapy, and occupational therapy may be needed.
Autism is often referred to as ASD, or Autism Spectrum Disorder. Each person with autism has different strengths and struggles which places him or her somewhere on the spectrum. According to AutismSpeaks.org, 1 in 54 United States children are on the spectrum. Most people with autism are diagnosed at a young age but anyone can be diagnosed at any age. Autism affects more boys than girls. The rate of autism has increased over the last decade, in part because people are more aware of the disorder.
Creating awareness is important. One piece to creating awareness and educating society is Autism Awareness Month. One of the easiest activities that people partake in is wearing blue on Fridays. Most shirts about autism are in a shade of blue or have a puzzle piece on them. Speaking of blue, many landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House in Australia use blue lights to display their support of Autism Awareness Month. Other communities hold events such as walks or runs to support the cause. Our public schools have the Circle of Friends club that helps students with special needs develop social skills through fun student activities. At CHS, Circle of Friends is led by Mrs. Madden and Mrs. Hill.
While you're at home this month, be sure to promote autism awareness this month by wearing blue and tagging CHS Anchor News on Twitter and Instagram at CHS Anchor News to show your support.
I’m Libby Wurdeman. CHS Anchor News.