April is Autism Awareness Month
Did you know that 1 in 88 American children are living with autism but many people still do not understand what having autism really means?
Autism is a general term for a group of complex disorders of brain development characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
Depending on the severity of the autism and the type of behavior being exhibited, it can be difficult for students with autism to learn in a social environment, like a brick and mortar classroom, so attending school online can really help them thrive.
Generally, the word disorder tends to have negative implications; however, what is found in autistic children is that they excel in particular subject areas like music, math, or art.
Did you know Albert Einstein was autistic? As a child he was considered a loner and obsessively repeated sentences until he was about 7 years old. As we all know, he won a Nobel Peace Prize for Physics when he was 42.
Einstein was just one of many famous historical figures who today, would be considered autistic, including artists Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, scientist Sir Isaac Newton, and musicians Ludwig van Beethoven and Mozart. The list goes on and on…
There are even more people with autism out there, not considered famous, but making really important contributions to the world as well. Temple Grandin is a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University and has written several books about both about both autism and animals. You may have seen the HBO movie "Templin Grandin" based on her life, including the struggles of not being able to talk until she was three-and-a-half years old to revolutionizing the practices for the humane handling of livestock on cattle ranches. Temple can also be found sharing her experience with autism as a public speaker.
Educating yourself about autism is just the beginning. There are tons of charities and fundraisers out there doing great work by bringing awareness and offering support to families living with autism.
Watch the ‘Temple Grandin’ HBO movie, look for more in-depth information about Autism on the web, partake in one of the 30 Days of Action on Pinterest, walk for Autism Speaks™, attend an Autism Speaks™ event in your area, or ask a family living with autism about their experience. The more we know, the more understanding we can become.