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Apr 03

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Why I’m Going to #LightItUpBlue for World Autism Month #UnderstandAutism

This is a social good post, I did not receive compensation for this posting.

Since April is World Autism Month, I’ve decided to #LightItUpBlue with Autism Speaks to increase acceptance, understanding and awareness of autism.  Have you seen buildings lighting up blue in the evening?That is all about Autism Awareness.  You all know that autism is deeply personal to me as a grandma of a child with autism. I post monthly about things that are changing and new in the world of autism.  Did you know that the CDC estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in every 68 children in the United States.

Autism refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

Autism’s most obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Autism Speaks encourages parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes.

We noticed something wasn’t quite right when our grandson was about 3 years old. He is our first born grandchild. It was hard trying to convince his parents that there was something different in his behaviors. Working as an RN on a mental health unit helped me identify some issues. Over time his behaviors became more apparent to his mom and dad and they sought medical consultations when he was about 4. He was diagnosed before he started kindergarten and has had additional therapies at school as well as private sessions. This early recognition and treatment has helped him immensely so that he is a normal classroom at school and is currently in 3rd grade and doing well.

The “Light It Up Blue” campaign is about more than awareness — it is about increasing understanding and acceptance of autism. This includes advocacy and support for people across the entire spectrum throughout their lives. It also includes advancing research into personalized treatments for autism and related conditions. I encourage you test your understanding of autism by taking this quiz!

Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include GI disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.
When first diagnosed our grandson had tummy problems and took prescribed supplements to heal and calm it. He does need re-direction when he is having acute anxiety.  We are just so thankful that the school he attends has such wonderful additional therapy classes he can take which helps him handle his anxiety and helps him verbalize what his anxiety is.

You can help make a difference too by taking the Light It Up Blue Quiz to see how much you know about autism. If you’re moved to do so after visiting AutismSpeaks.org, please show your support for and understanding of the challenges faced by individuals with autism by sharing a photo to #LightItUpBlue for Autism Awareness Month too. Also, check out Autism Speaks’ nationwide calendar of autism-friendly friendly events and activities in April.

Autism is near and dear to my heart and I wanted to share this information from Autism Speaks with you!
April is World Autism Month, although I don’t usually wear much blue, I like to wear it as much as possible to support Autism during the month of April!

Permanent link to this article: https://inspiringwordsfromtheheart.com/20255-2/

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