National Autism Awareness Month (& World Autism Awareness Day, 4/2)
April is National Autism Awareness Month. According to Autism Speaks, an organization with a mission to promote solutions for those who have autism and their families, April 2 will be the 15th Annual World Autism Awareness Day. Both this day and the entire month of April present great opportunities to work to increase the acceptance of people with autism all around the world.
Ways You Can Participate
National Autism Awareness Month presents the perfect opportunity to learn, educate, and put in the effort to increase and improve society's acceptance of people with autism. If you would like to be a supporter for those with autism but have no idea where to begin, a few ideas include:
The more you educate yourself about Autism Spectrum Disorder, the more helpful of a supporter you can be! There are tons of resources available to learn more about autism, including websites, books, and videos.
Volunteer Your Time
Many autism organizations have volunteer opportunities to offer, including jobs like youth education leaders, bloggers, and so much more! These volunteer opportunities provide the perfect chance for you to put your skills and talents toward a great cause!
Many organizations use donations to fund autism research. Find an autism organization that you resonate with the most and donate if you can!
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines autism as a developmental disability that can significantly impact an individual's social, communication, and behavioral skills. Those with autism tend to communicate, interact with others, learn, and behave in a manner that is different from the general population.
Autism can appear in individuals in vastly different ways. The disorder can have a severe impact on some that cause them to need help in their daily lives. Meanwhile, others may need little to no help at all. When it comes to skills like problem-solving, learning, and thinking, some autistic people can appear exceptional, while others may appear severely challenged.
As with everything else, autism can appear differently in different individuals. However, there are a few signs and symptoms that an individual may have ASD, including:
- Problems with social, emotional, behavioral, and communication skills
- Repetitive behaviors
- Resistance to change in their daily schedule
- Avoid pointing at objects or looking at objects pointed out by someone else
- Struggles with understanding the feelings of themselves or others
- Avoid eye contact
- Prefer to be alone
- Never playing pretend
- Showing interest in other people but lacking the skills to interact with them
- Struggles with communicating their needs
- Strong reactions to the way things smell, taste, feel, sound, or appear
- Loss of skills they previously had
Autism is not always easy to diagnose. Doctors must use the information they have about a child's behavior, development, and skills to make a diagnosis. If you believe you or a loved one may have ASD, talk to your doctor today.
Have you recently been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder? Know that you are not alone. At Michigan Psychological Care, we offer 1:1 autism therapy for children ages 2-21 diagnosed with autism to help them work with their physical, sensory, behavioral, cognitive, and communication needs. Contact us today.
Keywords: autism, autism counseling, autism therapy