April is Autism Awareness Month

Published 10:06 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The month of April serves as Autism Awareness Month for the disorder that affects about 1 percent of the world’s population.

Autism affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others, but there is no single known cause of the disorder. According to Autism-society.org,  a grassroots autism organization, increased awareness and early diagnosis lead to better outcomes for those diagnosed.

Autism-society lists the symptoms as a lack of or delay in spoken language, repetitive use of language or mannerisms, little or no eye contact, no interest in peer relationships and a persistent fixation on parts of objects.

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Just about all of us know someone affected by autism, and there are many ways to give back this month.

Donating money helps fund research, but there are other ways to help out too. There are walks all over the United States each year to raise awareness on autism. Although none are planned locally, Autismspeaks.org lists walks in Nashville, Columbus, Georgia an Atlanta in 2017.

On April 2, landmarks all over the country were lit up blue to help raise awareness. The White House, the Empire State Building and Niagara Falls all turned blue to help with the effort.

Just knowing the statistics and helping to spread the information can play a part in the effort too. Autism is estimated in one in every 68 births and has increased by 6-15 percent each year from 2002 to 2010.

This month is the perfect time to give back and try to help with research efforts. For more information, visit www.autismspeaks.org.