April is Autism Awareness Month

autism-awareness-monthApril is Autism Awareness Month, and today (April 2nd) is World Autism Awareness Day. I am so grateful for the attention and resources families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder now have.

Here are the most updated autism statistics, according to the latest figures from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). One in 68 children in the United States is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Here are some other facts and stats about autism, as presented by the National Autism Association :

  • Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls
  • About 40% of children with autism do not speak
  • Autism greatly varies from person to person (no two peple with autism are alike)
  • Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder, yet is the most underfunded
  • Currently there is no cure for autism, though with early intervention and treatment the diverse symptoms related to autism can be greatly improved and in some cases completely overcome.

Here are a three ways you can help support a family who has a child / children with autism :

  • Provide Encouragement : When someone tells me that Arizona did something great or that they admire the way I handled a situation with her, I immediately get a pep in my step – it really motivates me to keep on going.
  • Offer Tangible Support : Autism parents can always use a break. Offer to babysit or help fold laundry. Offer monetary support if you want to help a family in need.
  • Visit : Being a special needs parent can be so isolating! When Arizona was younger, she cried and fussed all the time. I craved adult conversation and interaction so much in those early days. Every time I had visitors, I would immediately feel supported. It helped me get through the week, knowing I had a friend coming in the near future.

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