Autism Awareness Month

April is the month to help support people with Autism

Naming a time for awareness brings people a reason to do something extra to help more people understand it. This month is focused on autism awareness.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. ASD usually become apparent between two and three years of age where most obvious signs tend to appear. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as eighteen months or with delays associated with autism it can be addressed even earlier.

ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged when it comes to learning, thinking and problem-solving abilities. Some people with autism need a lot of aid in their daily lives and other may need less depending on the type they have. There are three different types of autism spectrum disorder: autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder.

Autistic disorder, also called “classic” autism is the type where people have significant language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interest. Many people diagnosed with this type of autism also have an intellectual disability, a term used when a person has certain limitations in mental functioning and in skills.

Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interactions and nonverbal communication. They may have social challenges and unusual behaviors and interest; however; they typically do not have problems with intellectual or language disabilities.

Pervasive developmental disorder, also known as “atypical” autism, is the most common type of autism. People that meet some of the criteria for autistic disorders or Asperger syndrome but may be diagnosed with PDD–NOS, Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specific. People with PDD–NOS tend to have fewer or milder symptoms than those with autistic disorders in which may cause only social and communication challenges.

Autism spectrum disorder begins before the age of three and last throughout a person’s life, although the symptoms may improve throughout the years. A person with ASD might show these signs and symptoms that include: no response to their name by twelve months, avoid eye contact and want to be alone, and have delayed speech and language.

Since April is National Autism Awareness Month, different communities and organizations have worked hard to ensure their actions through services and programs to support all individuals living with autism. Organizations around the world celebrate this month with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events. It is time to shine a bright light on autism and show support by wearing blue on April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day.