April is National Autism Awareness Month and excellent timing for RAISE Society launch our website. We couldn’t ask for a better subject to highlight in our first blog entry. At RAISE, we hope to champion autism awareness all year round as we bring you information on research-based intervention, support and education.
The Autism Society has been celebrating this month for nearly 40 years, and April has been designated Autism Awareness Month to highlight this complex developmental disability. The biggest misconception about autism is that it is a rare disorder that affects only a few individuals. In truth, this is just not the case. Today, autism affects approximately 1 in 88 children and, as there has been a 78% increase in the diagnosis within the last 6 years, most people now can say that they know someone who is affected. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls and autism is the second most prevalent neurodevelopemental disorder among children.
So what is AUTISM?
Autism is one condition in a range of diagnoses that comprise the autism spectrum. These disorders are often characterized by a delay or lack of language development and difficulty understanding social cues that can significantly affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. As a result, many individuals with autism have difficulty learning independently and maintaining typical relationships.
There is currently no cure for autism, but with early diagnosis and intervention the lives of children and families improve significantly through research-based intervention founded on the principles and practices of Applied Behavior Analysis. Early warning signs of autism include: delay in spoken language; repetitive use of language or motor mannerism; little or no eye contact; lack of interest in peers; and a lack of spontaneous use of make believe play.
The complexity of Autism is represented in the puzzle pieces used as the logo for Autism Awareness Month, and each piece is as unique as the people, families and communities influenced by the disorder. We are hopeful that our efforts, working in connection with others in our community and beyond, will serve to RAISE hope, RAISE support, and RAISE awareness for autism spectrum disorders in April and always.
– RAISE Society