World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day Logo

Did you know that next Tuesday, April 2nd, is World Autism Awareness Day?  Well, it is!

So here is an attempt to help all of us learn about autism, with a lot of help from Autism Speaks!

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development.  In varying degrees these disorders result in difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors.  The diagnoses that will soon all be referred to as ASD or “on the autism spectrum” include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.

Approximately 1 in 88 American children are diagnosed as on the autism spectrum.  Autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls, with an estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls diagnosed with autism in the United States.  More children are diagnosed each year with autism than with juvenile diabetes, AIDS, or cancer combined.  In total ASD affects more than 2 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide.

What does this mean for individuals with ASD?  Each individual with ASD is unique.  Many of those on the autism spectrum have exceptional abilities in visual skills, music and academic skills.  About 40 percent have average to above average intellectual abilities.  Indeed, many persons on the spectrum take deserved pride in their distinctive abilities and “atypical” ways of viewing the world.  Others with autism have significant disability and are unable to live independently.  About 25 percent of individuals with ASD are nonverbal but can learn to communicate using other means.  There are treatments that can address significant challenges in communication and physical health.

If you or someone you care about is living with ASD and could use some help, give us a call at Life Skills Resource Group in Orlando at 407-355-7378. Our experienced counselors and life coaches are here to guide you and give you the support you need on your journey.

Stay tuned for more information next Tuesday! ~Krista