April marks Autism Awareness month and today, April 2nd, is World Autism Awareness Day! What do you know about autism? I have to admit, before college I was not very aware of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or autism. And then I met Ashley. She was an education major at Luther College who specialized in Special Education. Ashley was a strong advocate of autism. I learned so much from her and how common it really was in children.
Did you know that ASD affects 1 in 88 children, and is most common in boys? Autism Spectrum Disorder is a disorder of brain development. There are many degrees of autism, many of which have to do with social interaction, communication (nonverbal and verbal) and repetitive behaviors.
Autism is a very complex disorder, however, many with ASD excel in art, music and math. Matt Savage was born in 1992 with autism and at the age of 8 had already been labeled a jazz prodigy. Ah-mazing, right?!
Autism is much more common than you and I think. According to AutismSpeaks.org, more children are diagnosed with autism than, “are affected by diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome, combined.”
It’s not only more common, but it’s growing. Please help these young boys and girls! Autism affects 1 in 88 children and autism research receives less than 5% if the research funding of less prevalent childhood disease.
Here are some ways you can help:
- Register for Walk Now for Autism Speaks on Saturday, June 9, 2012 in West Des Moines
- Make a donation at your local Toys “R” Us or T.J. Maxx to support Autism Speaks
- Or donate in honor of someone you know with autism or ASD
- And don’t forget to create awareness and follow Autism Speaks on Twitter and Facebook!
Please consider helping in any way you can! Are there buildings in your city that have been lit up with blue lights tonight? Look at the Sydney Opera House! BEA-utiful!
In addition to our first event, the March of Dimes, Chelsea (my co-founder) and I have chosen the National Awareness Months and foundations that we are going to support for the remainder of the year.
Here is a list of our awareness months for the year:
April: Autism Awareness Month, STD Awareness Month
May: Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, Lupus Awareness Month
June: Gay/Lesbian Pride Month
July: Multiple Sclerosis Society, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
September: Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
October: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
November: Alzheimer Awareness Month
December: Born This Way Foundation
Stay tuned for how you can support these amazing causes!