National Autism Awareness Month

April 14, 2011 by Molly Huff


The United States has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month in April since the 1970s. This month provides a special opportunity for educating the public about autism and issues within the autism community.

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known cause for autism, but increased awareness and funding is key to helping families today.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their ADDM autism prevalence report in December 2009. The report concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 110 births in the United States and almost 1 in 70 boys.  Talk to your child's pediatrician about the signs of autism.

Know the Signs: Early Identification Can Change Lives.


Here are some signs to look for in the children in your life:

  • Lack of or delay in spoken language
  • Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Lack of interest in peer relationships
  • Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
  • Persistent fixation on parts of objects

 

Ways To Get Involved:

  • Contact your state and federal level representatives and ask them to “Vote 4 Autism” – for more information about this legislation and to take action to support it, visit www.vote4autism.org
  • Participate in the 2011 Georgia Walk Now for Autism Speaks in Atlanta. For more information on this, visit www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/georgia
  • Donate or become an Autism Society member today – visit www.autism-society.org for more information.