World Autism Awareness Day

world autism awareness day

Today, April 2nd, is World Autism Awareness Day.

According to Autism Speaks, “By way of comparison, more children are diagnosed with autism each year than with juvenile diabetes, AIDS or cancer, combined.” With the numbers telling us that 1 in 88 children will be diagnosed – 1 in 54 boys – it’s likely that you or someone you love will be affected by autism.

With a broad range of possible causes, including genetic and environmental factors entirely beyond our control, the most effective way to handle the potential that your child is on the spectrum is through early intervention. Autism Speaks shares:

The following “red flags” may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child exhibits any of the following, please don’t delay in asking your pediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation:

No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter

No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months

No babbling by 12 months

No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months

No words by 16 months

No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months

Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age

Even if this isn’t an issue in your own home, one of the best things you can do for those affected is to learn more about the autism spectrum:  how someone is diagnosed, what it means to live with autism, and the best ways to support those who do. To that end, here are some articles to assist you in getting started:

What is Autism?

Living with Autism

Resources and Support for Families Dealing with Autism

Vaccination and Autism

Autism: When to Seek Medical Advice

Risk Factors for Autism 

Image via United Nations [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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World Autism Awareness Day

Sara McTigue is a secret agent, cupcake chef, award winning author, photographer, and PTA mom. At least, that is how things look in her mind. When she isn’t testing the bounds of her imagination, she is a mom to three amazing and hilariously funny children, wife to a charming and handsome man, and thoroughly addicted to reading. With a BS in English Education and an MA in English Literature, words – and their ability to shape our lives and thoughts – are an everyday fascination. Af ... More

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