April is Autism Awareness Month so what better time to share some information about Autism and how you can get involved locally to help fundraise and raise awareness. Early diagnosis and intervention can make a big difference in the lives of those affected by Autism.
First of all, what is Autism?
Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is just a name that covers a group of complex disorders within brain development. These disorders are measured and characterized by difficulties with social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Autism is also often associated with intellectual disabilities, difficulties in motor coordination and attention as well as physical health issues.
Many signs of Autism can occur fairly early, usually within the first two years. Here are some signs to look out for:
- No big smiles or joyful expressions by 6 months of age
- No babbling by 12 months of age
- No words by 16 months of age
- No two-word phrases by 2 years of age
Early diagnosis and intervention is key. Those with Autism are likely to experience social challenges, communication difficulties and repetitive behaviors but with help their life can be made so much better.
How is it treated?
Every case of Autism is completely unique, therefor, there is no one answer to this question. Most often, treatment involves behavioral counseling and/or medication. And treatment may change as the patient grows. Oftentimes treatment is a group effort put forth by the patient, the patients family and the doctor or therapist. Seek professional help from an experienced individual to help guide you through the intervention process.
Additional facts about autism:
- Autism affects 1 in 68 children
- Autism predominantly affects boys
- Autism is growing rapidly as the fastest growing developmental disorder in the US
- As there is no one type of Autism, there is no one cause
Now that we’ve covered what Autism is by going over the early signs, symptoms, treatments and other important facts about ASD, hopefully we have raised awareness within our community and hope that you feel encouraged to get involved.
If you’d like to get involved locally to raise awareness for Autism, visit The Autism Society of Alaska to learn more about how you can help make a difference.
Or for more information nationally, head on over to Autism Speaks.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to give us a call. We’re always here to help!