It was back in 1970 the Autism Society launched this nationwide effort to promote the awareness of autism, including and self-determination for all. The aim of the month is to educate the public about autism and the complexities surrounding it. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability with no single known cause.
While no two people with autism have the same symptoms, there are common characteristics for those with this disability. They include lack of social skills, increased empathy, not a lot of physical contact, speech issues among other traits.
In the United States, autism affects one in every 110 children. National Autism Awareness Month not only is set to bring about more awareness to the public about the disability but also help the public understand the issues that can arise in the autism community. Due to the high number of those affected by autism, chances are you know someone who lives with the disability.
One of the most recognizable symbols of National Autism Awareness Month is the Puzzle Ribbon, which is the national symbol. The ribbon can take many forms including designs on t-shirts, pins attached to clothing, stickers, socks, magnets and more.
In Arizona, there are several groups involved with creating understanding of autism. The organizations are Arizona Autism Coalition, Southwest Autism Resource and Research Center, Arizona Autism United, Arizona Autism Network of the West Valley, and Asperger Parent Network. These local organizations are available to answer questions, show support and be a landing ground for those looking to connect with the autism community.
Here in the valley, there will be a number of events which will mark and celebrate National Autism Awareness Month. For a look at some of the events, check out the online listings at www.autismcenter.org/autismawarenessmonth.
For more information on National Autism Awareness Month visit the Autism Society’s Awareness website at www.autism-society.org.
Written by: Gretchen Pahia
With more than 15 years valuable experience in both media and public relations, Gretchen Pahia is a wife and mother of two. Over the years, Gretchen has used her media and public relations skills at a variety of firms in the valley and is now Principal and owner of Media by Connection. Gretchen is a firm believer that building lasting relationships with her clients is a strong background for achieving solid and visible results. She uses those same techniques at home with her family and boys. Keeping busy is her game, running around with two very active kids, who are growing bigger every day. Gretchen is a native to Arizona, born and raised here and a graduate of Northern Arizona University. She keeps active herself while enjoying running, working out, playing sports, watching movies with her husband!