Infographic: Autism Awareness Month
We take a look at Autism Awareness Month, what it is about, when it was started and how everyone can do their bit to raise awareness about autism.
This amazing infographic was given to Lighthouse by Andy Mohr Toyota. The infographic shows the importance of Autism Awareness Month and how to #LightItUpBlue!
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined by the Autism Society of America as “a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others.”
The autism spectrum includes a range of conditions affecting social skills, behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. It is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. The disorders found within the ASD spectrum include:
- Autistic Disorder
- Rett syndrome
- Childhood disintegrative disorder (also known as Heller’s syndrome)
- Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified
- Asperger’s syndrome.
Signs and symptoms are usually noticeable in early childhood and emerge between 24 and 36 months of age. One of the most important things you can do for your child is to learn the early signs of autism in children and infants. It is important that you are familiar with typical developmental milestones your child should be reaching as well.
Some of the most common signs of ASD in children are:
- Not responding to their name
- Avoiding eye contact
- Getting very upset if they do not like a certain taste, smell, or sound
- Repetitive movements and phrases
- One-sided conversations without needing a response.
Of course, ASD is unique in every person, and no two people have the exact same symptoms.
Children with ASD also tend to excel at particular things and have above-average intelligence. Some of the things that they might excel at include music, academics, and visual skills. Roughly 40% of those diagnosed with autism have above-average intellectual abilities.
Inclusion and acceptance of autism spectrum disorders are just as important as educating the community and bringing awareness to autism. So when is Autism Awareness Month? Let’s find out below.
Autism Awareness Month
Want to learn more facts about autism?
- In 1972, the Autism Society launched the first annual National Autistic Children’s week, but it wasn’t until 2007 that the official Autism Awareness Day was declared to fall on April 2nd by the United Nations General Assembly.
- Although Autism Awareness Day still officially falls on April 2nd, most countries recognize the month of April as Autism Awareness Month.
How People Can Raise Awareness About Autism
It is wonderful to have a month to raise awareness about autism, and it’s an incredibly busy time for organizations and individuals. However, we don’t believe that autism awareness should be limited to a single month – it’s something that should happen every day.
If you would like to raise awareness about autism, here are some of the things that you can do:
- Educate yourself: Awareness starts at home, and you should do everything that you can to understand more about autism and how it affects people.
- Attend local events: There are ongoing autism awareness events throughout the year. Go to these events, take your friends and family and even volunteer if you have the time.
- Stand up for others: If you see someone with autism being bullied or hear someone talking negatively about them, it’s time to stand up and let them know that it’s not okay.
- Set a positive example: It’s important that you show others how to treat people with autism. Always act with kindness and help those with autism, and you will become a positive role model for others.
Methods of Inclusion and Acceptance
One of the biggest issues that people with ASD face is the feeling that they are not included and accepted. This could be for children in school or an adult at work.
It’s easy to help people with autism feel more included. Keep an open mind and an open heart when interacting with autistic people. Invite them into your circles and to events (even when you know they will decline) and encourage others to treat people with autism with kindness and care.
You can also become more involved by calling or writing to local legislators, state representatives, and other leaders about proposed legislation that could impact those with autism. Be aware of how new policies affect access to things like services, research, insurance, and more. Speak up and encourage others to do the same.
Contact us at Lighthouse Autism Center for more information about Autism Awareness Month and how you can help.