Today, April 2nd, 2021, is the 14th annual World Autism Awareness Day, and today we commit to spread kindness, and take action to spread more accurate information about Autism Spectrum Disorder. Although World Autism Month is celebrated in April in many places around the world, Prince Edward Island celebrates October as Autism Awareness Month.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that, like ADHD, leads to neuro-diverse brain function that affects social communication and interaction. You may have also heard of Asperger’s disorder or sometimes called high-functioning autism. The DSM-5 now incorporates Asperger’s and other unspecified development disorders as part of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Autism has been associated with both a combination of genetic and environmental factors. When I say environmental factors, I don’t mean vaccines. I mean environmental factors to the mother during childbirth, or prior to childbirth. Links have been made to risks factors from rubella, alcohol, cocaine, pesticides, lead, air pollution, fetal growth restriction and autoimmune diseases1 during pregnancy that may increase the risk of developmental disorders.
Those who are on the Autism spectrum, like those with ADHD, are not interested in being “fixed” or changing who we are to do things in a more neurotypical way. Those on the Autism spectrum want you to know what ASD is, and how they experience life because of it.
Those on the Autism spectrum, like those with ADHD, need accommodation in work or school environments, but understanding is the first step in identifying what those accommodations might be.
What Can I Do?
- The best thing that you can do is educate yourself about what Autism Spectrum Disorder is, what it isn’t, and how it impacts those who are #actuallyautistic.
- Help with Research either as a researcher or a participant
- Business? Organization? Have a Sensory Support Kit on hand.
Where Can I Learn More?