April is WORLD Autism Month – Here Are Four Easy Ways to Get Involved

Apr 05th, 2019 | by Lisa Murphy OTD, OTR/L, SWC
Lisa Murphy OTD, OTR/L, SWC

Lisa Murphy OTD, OTR/L, SWC

April 05th, 2019

To increase global understanding of autism, April is World Autism Month.  Various campaigns such as Autism Speaks “Light it Up Blue” and the Autism Society’s “Put on a Puzzle” aim to increase inclusivity and acceptance of individuals with autism.

What you Should Know

World Autism Month is a platform to create change; a stage to support a shift in thinking to create acceptance and inclusivity.  Every individual with autism is a unique being with their own strengths and challenges. Lets take this time to learn more about autism so that we are open, willing, and able to communicate strategies to make our communities more welcoming for everyone.   

What is Autism?

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills and communications skills, as well as engagement in repetitive behaviors. While statistics vary slightly, approximately 1 in 59 children in the United States is affected with autism.  The cause of autism is yet unknown, however researchers believe both environmental and genetic factors may contribute to an individual being diagnosed with ASD. Symptoms of autism may include, but is not limited to:

  • Picky or fussing eating
  • Delayed or lack of speech
  • Decreased eye contact
  • Engagement in repetitive motor movements (ie hand flapping, twirling objects)
  • Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play

Therapy for Autism

Experts agree, access to early intervention is imperative for individuals with ASD.  Early intervention may include but is not limited to one or a combination of the following interventions:

  • Behavioral therapy to address repetitive behaviors that may interfere with daily life
  • Occupational therapy to address underlying sensory needs contributing to a child’s dysfunction
  • Physical therapy to address delays in gross motor skills
  • Speech therapy to address difficulties with both verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Early intervention school programs provide opportunity for structure, language models and facilitated peer interactions.  

Check out our NAPA Kidz Academy: https://www.napacenter.org/the-kidz-academy-day/

Four Easy Ways for you to Get Involved!

  1. Participate in a Walk for Autism – https://act.autismspeaks.org/site/SPageServer;jsessionid=00000000.app363b?pagename=walk_homepage&NONCE_TOKEN=56F9E266C8DBE641A11C5911B8B08084
  2. Learn and share information about autism safety – be AWARE! http://awaare.nationalautismassociation.org/
  3. Share more information about Autism and AAChttp://awaare.nationalautismassociation.org/
  4. Stay up to date with autism researchhttps://www.autismspeaks.org/news/autism-speaks-names-top-ten-autism-studies-2018
World Autism Month
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