April is National Autism Awareness Month
Each April, Autism Speaks celebrates Light It Up Blue along with the international autism community, in commemoration of the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day. If you see blue lights, or notice a lot of people wearing blue in April, they could be promoting and trying to raise awareness about autism. Light It Up Blue is a unique global initiative that kicks-off Autism Awareness Month and helps raise awareness about autism.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability defined by diagnostic criteria that include deficits in social communication and social interaction and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities. Initial signs and symptoms typically are apparent in the early developmental period; however, social deficits and behavioral patterns might not be recognized as symptoms of ASD until a child is unable to meet social, educational, occupational, or other important life stage demands. Functional limitations vary among persons with ASD and might develop over time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its estimate of autism prevalence in the United States to 1 in 68 children (1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls). By comparison, this is more children than are affected by diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome – combined.
As the parent of a 23-year old son with autism, a blue light will shine each night in the month of April on my front porch. I encourage everyone to learn more about autism and what they can do to support individuals with autism and their families in our community.
To learn more about autism in general go to: Autism Speaks
Jodi McGinnis Porter | Corporate Communications
PNM | Santa Fe and Albuquerque, NM