April is Autism Awareness Month

April was designated as National Autism Awareness Month in 1970. The idea to recognize a month for autism awareness came from Dr. Bernard Rimland, Ph.D who was an autism researcher. In April 1988, President Ronald Reagan made it official with a proclamation declaring April as Autism Awareness Month. It is meant to bring attention and a better understanding of this disorder.

The symbol of autism is a puzzle piece that represents power, strength, hope, and unity for people who are diagnosed with this disorder.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the United States, autism affects approximately one in 36 children and one in 45 adults. They also state that autism is seen more frequently in boys than in girls, is found in people of all ethnicities and  races, and it affects people who have it in many different ways. Some people have very mild cases and some have very severe manifestations. Some children are verbal while others may not be. Some children, but not all,   have intellectual issues, and some can be high functioning while others require assistance with activities of daily living. Signs of autism can be seen in children as young as age two or three and the diagnosis can usually  be made definitively by age five.

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