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Autism Awareness Month!

Written by: Breanna Beck

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Photo credit: Shari King

The month of April is full of month-long and week-long observances but we tend to ignore this one. April is National Autism Awareness Month. For the people who may not know what autism is, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. There is not just one type of autism but many types caused by different genetic combinations. The autism spectrum disorder displays the amount of variety in challenges and strengths of the person who has this disorder. You usually can identify the signs of this disorder in the early ages between two and three years old. It’s possible to be detected as early as eighteen months. Kate Gladstone, the author of “Handwriting and the Autism Spectrum- Notes From A Survivor”, said “Handwriting still matters. Technology doesn’t always work — and even if we never write, we must decipher others’ handwriting. (Many of us on the autism spectrum never managed to read cursive: even if we can write it).” She was reflecting on her personal experience of struggling in school with reading and writing. A special education teacher, who originally started off as an AB therapist, had an opportunity to witness the challenges that an autistic person and their family experienced. In his own creative way of thinking about these admirable people and showing them respect, he wrote a poem to express his gratfor his job. This is his poem.

 

I’ve had conversations without using words

But understood everything that was heard

Trapped inside but free to explore

The world around them and so much more

A blink of an eye, a glance, a nod

Signal to me what words cannot

A day, a month, an hour or week

It may take us to realize that Autism Speaks

A hug, a squeeze, that echo a thought

Bring peace and comfort to lives who’ve fought

To understand ASD

The Beauty, The Complicated, The Tireless, The Uneasy

The potential to be a person who solves

Life’s pressing issues with unwavering resolve

Adding to our world a mind so unique

That if we listen carefully, we’ll hear Autism Speaks

 

by James Arricale

Living with autism can be mentally and physically exhausting. It’s important that people with this disorder are provided with access to places of support and service that emphasizes the idea of living their best lives. If you want to take action to help with awareness during the month of April, there are several things that you can do to participate. You can reach out to your local affiliate, attend an event, sign up for autism society action alerts, or even take a free class. Not only does autism affect the person but it affects their families and it is best to give them our best support. Learn more and inform others by passing on the knowledge to spread awareness!

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Autism Awareness Month!