April is Autism Awareness Month

    In order to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, the Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community. - www.autism-society.org

    What is Autism?

    Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). The other pervasive developmental disorders are PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified), Asperger's Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Many parents and professionals refer to this group as Autism Spectrum Disorders. 

    Symptoms of Autism:

    Autism affects the way a child perceives the world and makes communication and social interaction difficult. The child may also have repetitive behaviors or intense interests. Symptoms, and their severity, are different for each of the affected areas - Communication, Social Interaction, and Repetitive Behaviors. A child may not have the same symptoms and may seem very different from another child with the same diagnosis.

    Facts about Autism:

    * Autism now affects 1 in 110 children and 1 in 70 boys

    * Autism prevalence figures are growing

    * More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined

    * Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.

    * Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases

    * Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism

    * There is no medical detection or cure for autism 

    For more information: www.autismspeaks.org