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April is Autism Awareness Month. It’s the perfect time to talk with your friends and family about joining millions across the country in supporting people living with autism.

What is autism?

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), includes a range of conditions characterized by difficulty with “social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.” [1] People with autism may be anywhere on this spectrum, which means challenges and strengths can vary.

How prevalent is autism?

According to recent data, autism now affects 1 in every 59 children in the U.S., and more than 70 million people worldwide.

Is there hope?

Yes! Awareness, research, and support for families and those living with autism continues to grow. [2] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced the following:

“CDC has launched a new phase of funding for the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, the only collaborative network to monitor the number and characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities in multiple communities throughout the United States.”

Millions of dollars are earmarked over the next four years to track, follow-up, and identify health strategies to “improve identification of and services for children with ASD.”

For more information, read the full announcement here:

Additional Resources

  • Television legend Ed Asner and his son Matt talk about what it’s like to be a parent to a child with autism:
  • Get to know more about the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) network:

References:

  1. http://media.autismspeaks.org/wam/WAM_Resource_Guide.pdf
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/addm-network-funding.html
  3. https://youtu.be/y990f6UiEEM
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/documents/ADDM-Fact-Sheet-comp508.pdf
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones-app.html
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