Significance of April for Autism
April is an important month in healthcare because it is National Autism Awareness month. People with autism are a very special group of people who deserve to be celebrated, understood, and universally accepted by society.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD),t is neurodevelopmental and affects the way a person interacts with others. ASD begins in early childhood—between the ages of 18-months and three-years. In Canada, about one child in 94 is diagnosed with ASD. It is one of the most common brain disorders affecting children, especially boys because they are statistically more affected than girls. There is no cure for ASD, but an autistic person can learn to change or control potentially hazardous or inconvenient behaviours with therapy.
ASD may range from mild to severe. There are several types of ASD. The first type is called “autism disorder,” also known as “classic” autistic. People with autism disorder show language delays and sensitivity with sounds and cuddling. They also face social and communication challenges and have unusual behavior and interests. They might display aggressive, violent behavior or a tendency to injure themselves.
Another common type of ASD is called “Asperger’s Syndrome,” which usually has milder symptoms of autism. People with Asperger’s still have unusual behavior and interest, along with social and communication challenges. However, they do not have problems with language.
The third type of ASD is called “Pervasive Development Disorder,” or “atypical autism.” Individuals with this type of ASD only have social and communication challenges.
The lack of awareness of correct, truthful information about autism can cause a lot of problems, including misunderstandings, disrespect, and even harmful behavior. There might be many children in our community who have ASD, whose struggles are unacknowledged. If no one takes initiative to get past their communication barriers and get to know people with ASD, then they will feel like no one cares.
The stigma surrounding ASD will also cause problems. Parents learning that their children have ASD might cause panic. Without fully understanding what ASD is and how to treat them, parents might start to worry about their future. Spreading awareness can help parents understand their child and get them therapy to make sure they have the best life possible. Without awareness, school children might not understand why their classmates are different and won't know how to make friends or talk with them. Some kids might harm those with ASD because they are different. It is vital to develop universal awareness and understanding of ASD so that the stigma can be diminished.
Autistic individuals are just like their neurotypical friends, family, and classmates. People can still be friends with them and build relationships. By spreading awareness about ASD, the community will enhance at embracing autistic individuals and accepting them into social circles. This is what the National Autism Awareness month of April is for—to bring autism to the forefront of conversation for everyone.
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“How Autism Spectrum Disorder Affects Learning and Development.” Raisingchildren.Net.Au, Raising Children Network (Australia) Limited, 5 July 2020, raisingchildren.net.au/autism/learning-about-autism/about-autism/how-asd-affects-development.
“Autism Awareness and Why It Is Important.” Total Spectrum, Total Spectrum LLC, 1 Apr. 2019, www.totalspectrumcare.com/autism-awareness-and-why-it-is-important.
Guttman, James. “The Importance of Autism Awareness and Acceptance.” Autism Speaks, Autism Speaks Inc., 13 Apr. 2020, www.autismspeaks.org/blog/why-autism-awareness-understanding-and-acceptance-important-us.