April is National Autism Awareness Month. During this time, organizations across the country come together to promote autism awareness and shine a light on the thousands of individuals who are diagnosed with autism every year
According to the National Autism Association, autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of 3. Autism now affects 1 in 68 children,with boys four times more likely to have autism than girls.
Some facts about autism:
- Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive function. Individuals with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.
- Individuals with autism often suffer from numerous co-morbid medical conditions which may include: allergies, asthma, epilepsy, digestive disorders, persistent viral infections, feeding disorders, sensory integration dysfunction, sleeping disorders, and more
- Autism’s prevalence is not affected by race, region, or socio-economic status.
- Autism itself does not affect life expectancy, however research has shown that the mortality risk among individuals with autism is twice as high as the general population, in large part due to drowning and other accidents.
- Currently there is no cure for autism, though with early intervention and treatment, the diverse symptoms related to autism can be greatly improved and in some cases completely overcome.
- Autism greatly varies from person to person (no two people with autism are alike)
Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder, yet most underfunded. National Autism Awareness Month helps generate much needed awareness.
Touchstone’s Family Center Autism Program (FCAP) serves families with children on the autism spectrum. FCAP is able to diagnose, provide family support, and facilitate individual and family therapy, social skills therapy and parenting skills training. The program also implements Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) interventions, as well as connects the family to resources within their community.
FCAP provides Au-Some Sibs, a sibling support group, as well as ABA training for community members and parents. We also provide Playground Partners, a playground group located at a few local schools that provides social skills in the child’s natural setting. To learn more about the program and the admission criteria, please call (602) 615-2204.
On Tuesday, April 7, Touchstone will be participating in Arizona Gives Day, a 24 hour, online giv-ing experience hosted by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. Arizona Gives Day will unite Arizo-nans around causes they believe in. To make an Arizona Gives Day donation to Touchstone, please click here.