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April is Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month and this year it falls on April 2nd. The United Nations designated this day to increase autism awareness and acceptance across the globe. This year’s campaign is entitled, “Celebrate Differences”. This campaign is to help spread awareness, promote awareness and most importantly ignite change. Now, every April, many organizations around the world take part by hosting events to raise money for research or spreading awareness of ASD.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition which can present with challenges in social skills, repetitive behaviours , speech and non verbal communication. It affects 1 in 66 children in Canada & 1 in 54 children (in the United States). One organization that you may have heard of before called Autismspeaks has been at the forefront of raising ASD awareness for years now. They are committed to increasing the awareness of autism. They recognize that early diagnosis and intervention can improve learning, communication and social skills, as well as underlying brain development. There websites is a treasure chest of resources to help families and individuals dealing with autism. According to autism speaks, "Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups."

It's important to raise awareness about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the challenges that those with ASD face every day. The goal of this blog post, and future posts, is to increase public understanding and acceptance of autism through acknowledgement of famous people with autism.

The following names , are individuals that had Autism. The links includes Emily Dickinson, Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Steve Jobs and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Each of these individuals are household names, contributing significantly to society.

When , we think of Emily Dickinson, the poet, the first word that comes to mind, isn’t autism. How many people first associate Steve Jobs with Autism. No, we associate him by his amazing contributions with Apple, as he founded it along with Steve Wozniac. Steve Jobs helped deliver the first commercially successful computer, which is actually the computer brand I first used as child. We associate him with his contributions to society, as he revolutionized six major industries, including animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing! I’m typing this blog on my Apple laptop , using my Apple iPhone to check my messages and my Apple Watch to check the time.

I believe our society is ready to celebrate the differences, celebrate each person’s contribution to life, and be more supportive of those who have autistic family members. Early identification of ASD is crucial for individuals to get the best possible outcomes. So, in your social media, please feel free to use the hashtag #celebratedifferences as we highlight Autism Awareness Month.

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