April brings autism awareness

April+is+National+Autism+Awareness+month.+Puzzle+pieces+are+typically+used+as+a+symbol+to+represent+Autism.
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April brings autism awareness

April is National Autism Awareness month. Puzzle pieces are typically used as a symbol to represent Autism.

April is National Autism Awareness month. Puzzle pieces are typically used as a symbol to represent Autism.

April is National Autism Awareness month. Puzzle pieces are typically used as a symbol to represent Autism.

April is National Autism Awareness month. Puzzle pieces are typically used as a symbol to represent Autism.

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Autism is defined as a spectrum of conditions that influence speech, behavior and communication. April is National Autism Awareness Month.

The spectrum of autism is very broad and includes many different types, this being said, it is more common than people think. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 1 in 59 children have autism.

“My cousin Ben is autistic, he has Asperger’s,” junior Claire Halterman said.

Asperger’s is on the autism spectrum and typically involves difficulty interpreting social situations as well as heightened interest on specific subjects.

“Sometimes we have to help him in social situations,” Halterman said. “We have to help him feel more comfortable.”

This being said, autism also impact people who do not have family members with autism. Even working with autistic people can change someone’s perspective on the disorder.

“I volunteer with autistic kids once a week at Horsepower therapeutic riding center,” senior Kaitlyn Austin said.  “I help the riders have a safe and productive therapy session on a horse by wither walking beside them or leading the horse.”

This type of therapy can help autistic children bond with their horse and their helper, resulting in a positive relationship for everyone.

“(Autistic kids) have impacted me in so many ways,” Austin said. “They have helped me realize that no matter the diagnosis a person is a person, just because someone acts differently doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy being talked with and listened to.”

Autism awareness month is important to people with and without autism. It helps make people aware of the stigma that surrounds the disorder and corrects misconceptions.

“Autism awareness is important because there are so many people impacted by autism,” Austin said. “Not only that but autism has such a spectrum of symptoms that many people are often excluded because they don’t fit into societies perception of an autistic person.”

A lot of the difficulty interacting with people with autism is because people are so used ordinary that they don’t know how to act when someone is different.

“My advice is to treat someone with autism like you would treat any other person but understand that because of their disorder they might be uncomfortable with certain things or react differently than others,” Austin said.

This seems to be the universal opinion when asking people with autistic family members or friends.

“Treat them the same they are just people,” Halterman said.

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