Reflecting on Autism Awareness Month


The Rambler

As the month of April comes to a close, so does Autism Awareness Month or Autism Acceptance Month. Autism is a condition that has a broad variety of indicators or various behaviors that are present in those who are affected by it. Several common behaviors, at least in younger children, include difficulties in communication, such as maintaining eye contact, and repetitive actions and movements. According to recent data, about 1 in 54 children were found to have some form of autism, or were located on the autism spectrum, so it is a fairly common condition. 

Although autism is known for causing learning and speech disorders in those affected, many of those with autism have less severe symptoms.

Personally, I have met several people with autism, particularly, my own brother. Despite what the stereotypes may be, he is very kind, and very astute. I believe that my brother is living proof of the fact that others, no matter their abilities, should not be looked down upon.

Although he is not fond of traditional learning, he is able to speak fluently and accurately in areas of his own interest, and he is particularly skilled at creative endeavors, like drawing. This is why there is a push to change April from “Autism Awareness Month” to “Autism Acceptance Month.”

I feel that it is my responsibility to help reduce the stigma around autism. We should not be simply aware of those with this condition, we should wholeheartedly accept them, and their contributions. My brother is an unique and intelligent person, and I wish to see him fulfill his bright future. Happy Autism Acceptance Month, everyone.

If you are interested in volunteering to help individuals with autism, the Northwestern Pennsylvania Autism Society has various opportunities, which can be accessed at this link:

Simply click on the “VOLUNTEER” icon, and you can view several volunteer opportunities. My brother especially enjoys the LEGO club, and the Teen Cooking Club, where he has made several tasty treats.