Wednesday, April 4, 2012

National Autism Awareness Month

Autism seems to be in the news more and more these days. The prevalence of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in 1 out of 150 kids in the U.S. For reasons that are still unknown, these disorders affect four times as many boys as girls. Clearly indicating the severity of the situation: The Center for Disease Control has declared autism a "national public health crisis" whose cause and cure remain "unknown."

Autism is a highly variable neurodevelopmental disorder that first appears during infancy or childhood, and generally follows a steady course without remission. Overt symptoms gradually begin after the age of six months, become established by age two or three years, and tend to continue through adulthood, although often in more muted form. It is distinguished not by a single symptom, but by a characteristic triad of symptoms: impairments in social interaction; impairments in communication; and restricted interests and repetitive behavior. Other aspects, such as atypical eating, are also common, but are not essential for diagnosis. Autism's individual symptoms occur in the general population and appear not to associate highly, without a sharp line separating pathologically severe from common traits. [1]

Learn more. This month happens to be National Autism Awareness Month. The logo for Autism is a puzzle piece. The disorder truly is still a puzzle and if you don't know somebody yet who has autism, the odds are good that you will sometime soon. Autism is a mystery we can begin solving in our lifetimes. Anything you can do helps.
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