In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day to highlight the need to help children and adults with the disorder to lead full and meaningful lives. The Autism Society of North Carolina recognizes that acceptance of each person as an individual and of their ability to contribute to society is just as important, so they include “Acceptance” in the day’s title.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention, as well as physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art. Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age.Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 American children as on the autism spectrum–a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Careful research shows that this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and awareness. Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States. ASD affects over 3 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. Moreover, government autism statistics suggest that prevalence rates have increased 10 to 17 percent annually in recent years. (https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism)
In N-CCS, we have 35 students who are diagnosed with Autism. To show your support, awareness, and acceptance of students and loved ones with Autism, wear BLUE or your N-CCS Autism Awareness shirt on April 2!