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Guest Blog by Lorri Servati.
My family, and many other families that have loved ones with autism, will be celebrating World Autism Awareness Day this year on April 2, 2012. We do this every year in an effort to raise Autism Awareness in our communities, across the nation and around the world. Please consider joining the global autism community by celebrating World Autism Awareness Day, which was declared by the United Nations in 2007. On April 2, families around the world unite as one to shine a very bright light on the growing epidemic known as autism.
If you have heard about autism, you may not know exactly what autism is. Autism can best be described as a brain disorder that impairs the development of a child’s social behavior and communication. It now affects an average of 1 in 88 children, a 25% increase of from the previously reported 1 in 110 children in the United States. Autism has literally become a serious epidemic, affecting more children than diabetes, AIDS, cancer cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down Syndrome combined.[1] An estimated 1 in 54 boys  and 1 in 252 girls are affected by autism in the United States, almost 5 times more boys than girls. Autism Spectrum Disorders affect over 2 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions around the world.
With autism rates on the rise, parents are being urged to learn the early signs of autism.[2] If a parent thinks their child may be displaying developmental delays in communication, social and/or motor skills, they should get their child evaluated immediately. Early detection and intervention have been proven to give a child the best chance in reaching their potential. There is no cure for autism but, treatment including intensive behavior therapy will enable many children to function better.
Please join us as we celebrate World Autism Awareness Day this coming Monday on April 2, 2012. Doing something as simple as changing your social profile picture to something blue, replacing the light bulb on your porch with a blue one, by wearing anything blue or by handing out goody bags in your community that day will help to raise autism awareness. The world needs to know we are the voice for those children who haven’t been diagnosed yet, are unfortunately misunderstood and in need of the treatment that will help them. We encourage everyone to participate in support of all individuals with autism and share with everyone about World Autism Awareness Day. Thank you for helping us shine a light on Autism!
[1] Autism Speaks
[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Lorrie Servati is a mom, substitute teacher and autism advocate for her nine year old son. Lorrie shares her son’s progress on his autism journey since he was diagnosed four years ago. Visit her blog, Nathan’s Voice, for online Resources for Families.