Autism awareness has come a long way in the last few years. More and more people are gaining an understanding of this widespread condition, but there are still a few things that it seems just won’t get through to some people. We asked our friends on Facebook the most important things they wish people knew about autism. Take a look at our list, then add your own questions and ideas in the comments!
1. Autism is more common than juvenile diabetes, childhood cancer, and pediatric AIDS combined, affecting an estimated 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. The prevalence rate of autism is increasing 10-17 percent annually.
2. Autism doesn’t have a “look.” Most children with autism look just like their typical peers.
3. Not all kids who have autism are Savants; they don’t all have some special skill or talent.
4. They are just children that need love like any other child.
5. There is no cure for autism…yet. However, therapy and treatment can help with autism management.
6. There are many positive sides to autism. Yes it is hard, but it is very rewarding and inspiring, and autism needs to be embraced.
7. Consistency is key when working with someone who has autism. Patience, consistency and positive reinforcement will help tremendously when trying to teach a new skill.
8. Children with autism may have a tendency to wander. Parents of wandering children with autism are not bad parents. They’re doing the best they can.
9. Many people with autism struggle with communication, but if we take the time to listen, really listen, to our children, we can understand what they want and need.
10. Children with autism are capable of learning and doing anything they want to. Once you find the right way to teach them, there’s no stopping them. The sky is the limit!
Share this list with family and friends to raise awareness and understanding of autism. For more information, visit www.autismspeaks.org. Do you know someone who has been affected by autism? What have you learned from them that others don’t understand about this disorder? We would love to hear from you!