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Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month. The Autism Speaks website defines autism or autism spectrum disorder as “a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences.” The website also states that many types of autism are caused by an array of genetic and environmental influences. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 1 in 68 children in the United States are affected by autism, more specifically 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 198 girls. According to the Autism Speaks website, about one-third of people with autism have an intellectual disability, and the same amount of people with autism remain nonverbal. Medical and mental health issues often accompany autism. It is estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults and lose school-based autism services each year. Signs of autism tend to appear between two and three years of age. Autism Speaks urges parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes. 

 

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