Written by Jenna Santiago, Care Connections Coordinator
April 2, 2021 marks the 14th World Autism Awareness Day. This is a day internationally recognized to help raise awareness of autism. Multiple agencies work together to bring awareness and address autism spectrum disorders to support individuals, their families, and the community.
1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) is a large number throughout of communities. There is a good chance you have a family member, a friend, or a neighbor who themselves has autism or knows someone who does. My two brothers have daily struggles. I have watched them grow into flourishing young men. However, it took the help of a wonderful team of family members, physicians, teachers, etc. to get them to where they are today. So let’s turn our world BLUE and bring some awareness.
What is Autism?
On March 27th, 2014, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released new data on the prevalence of autism in the United States. This study identified 1 in 68 children as having ASD.
Autism is a spectrum disorder meaning that there are a wide range of symptoms and severities. It can range from very mild to very severe and occur in all ethnic, socioeconomic, and age groups.
Although there is no known cure for ASD, early detection and intervention can lead to significantly improved outcomes for those affected. In most cases, there are five behaviors that can lead to a signal that further evaluation is needed. (2021 Autism Speaks Inc. 501(c)(3) organization, EIN: 20-2329938. https://www.autismspeaks.org/signs-autism)
Child does not babble or coo by 12 months
Child does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months
Child does not say single words by 16 months
Child does not say two-word phrases on his or her own by 24 months
Child has any loss of language or social skills at any age
Other signs parents can look for in children are:
Lack of or delay in spoken language
Repetitive use of language and/or mannerisms
Little or no eye contact
Lack of interest in peer relationships
Lack of spontaneous play or make-believe play
Constant fixation on parts of objects
There are five types of Behavior Therapy for Individuals with Autism:
Applied Behavior Analysis
Relationship Development Intervention
Sensory Integration Therapy
Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children