Autism Awareness Month
April marks Autism Awareness Month. Autism was only discovered in 1989 when a new mother, Susan Senator, was wondering why her toddler behaved so differently from other children.
She has written 3 books about her experiences; must-reads for parents of children with autism. I especially like her emphasis on staying strong as a family through your diagnosis.
Did you know an estimated 1 of 110 children are affected by autism in the US? [Most recent analysis by the CDC] The earlier the intervention the better. Children can be diagnosed as young as 1-year-old. A diagnosis is the first step to getting your child and you the right care and support.
Since autism spectrum disorders are widely prevalent in the US, there is a movement to change the name to ‘Autism Acceptance Month.’ I think this is an important change. The goal here is to celebrate the autistic culture and community, says the Autism Self Advocacy Network.
Awareness and acceptance are both important factors, but acceptance requires a shift in how you act and think. The more we talk about what autism is, the more we can understand the diagnosis, and realize that people with autism are not that different from you and I.
In doing my research, I came across these awesome resources:
Autism Speaks – The place to go for news on autism, events in the community, and tons of family support. They even provide what they call “Family Support Tool Kits” to help each and every member of your family, young or old, understand their emotions around this diagnosis.
Autism Now – A resource for parents, teachers, employers, and individuals. This is a great site for getting involved in the community as an autistic individual. They have everything from navigating through college to finding a job.
Get the facts and medical information, but it’s also important to stay connected. Thanks to social networking, there are many amazing autism blogs and support groups online.
Our friends at Babble just published their Top 30 Autism Blogs for 2013 so check it out.