April marks the beginning of Autism Awareness Month and is timely with the Center for Disease Control’s recent announcement of high statistical prevalence of autism in the United States. The Autism Society has celebrated National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s in order to highlight awareness and the increasing concerns about autism. The United States recognizes April as a public education opportunity about autism and issues within the autism community.
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders—autism spectrum disorders—believed caused by a combination of genetic and possible environmental factors. Generally, these disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors. The Center for Disease Control recently reported the current prevalence rate for autism in the United States is 1 in 88 children. When possible, early recognition and intervention with autism offers the best and most optimistic solutions for families with autistic children.