April is Autism Awareness Month. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a number of disorders of brain development and are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
According to the latest estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Autism affects one out of 88 children in the U.S. The CDC previously put that average at about 1 in 110 kids in this country, but the boost of 25 percent more means that more than 1 million children and teens are affected; some attribute the spike to better autism screenings.
"One thing the data tells us with certainty - there are many children and families who need help," said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden. "We must continue to track autism spectrum disorders because this is the information communities need to guide improvements in services to help children."
Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, has announced a series of digital, mobile and technology initiatives involving a range of corporate and philanthropic partners that will take place throughout Autism Awareness Month.
Meanwhile, the Autism Society offers a number of ways people can show their support this month:
1. Wear the puzzle: For example, you can wear the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon as a pin on your shirt, magnet on your car, badge on your blog, or even your Facebook profile picture - and educate folks on the potential of people with autism! To purchase the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon, click here.
2. Make a difference. Advocate for those with autism by contacting your representatives on the state and federal level and ask them to "Vote 4 Autism."
Tell us: In what way(s) will you show your support for Autism Awareness Month this April?
For more on genConnect:
- Sarah Maizes on Autism - Don't Try to Make the Child 'Perfect'
- Autism Research Says Risk Higher When Disorder Runs in Family
- How to Help Your ADHD Child, by Margery Fridstein
- Helping Your Children Control Their Impulses Makes Them Better Students