Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month is recognized in April across the nation. During this month, it’s imperative that we, as a community, increase our knowledge, awareness and acceptance of the common disorder, while we continue to remove the stigma surrounding the topic. The Autism Society has deemed “Celebrate Differences” as the theme of this year’s recognition month. In doing so, the goal is to build a better awareness of the signs, symptoms and realities of autism. To celebrate differences alongside the Autism Society, we sat down with Laura N., director of South Bay’s Birth to Three Autism program, to further discuss the ins and outs of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
For those who don’t know what Autism Spectrum Disorder is, can you explain?
Autism Spectrum Disorder, commonly referred to as ASD, is a developmental disability that’s typically diagnosed at a young age – as young as 12 months old. This disorder is based on social communication, as well as restrictive and repetitive behaviors that often create behavioral challenges for the diagnosed individual.
What are the warning signs parents can look for in their children?
Some common characteristics include:
- Not pointing to objects
- Not making or avoiding eye contact
- Wanting to be alone