Starting today the United States is celebrating Autism Awareness Month. The month is dedicated to Raising Awareness of the condition Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. This condition is most commonly referred to as simply Autism.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism is a complex developmental disability. This disability is generally diagnosed in early childhood and characterized by behaviors that may seem odd to other people. ASD is a spectrum disorder that affects people in many different ways, and the severity may vary from case to case. Autism affects around 1 in 68 newborn infants but takes time for the symptoms to appear.

Signs may vary from not making eye contact to not meeting some developmental milestones. Children with autism sometimes also have a persistent interest in a specific object.

What is the goal of Autism Awareness Month?

The goal of celebrating Autism Awareness Month is to raise awareness. It is to give everyone a better idea of what to look for in a child to better note if early intervention is needed. Another main goal is to make people more aware of the signs and symptoms to where people living with ASD can be generally accepted for their unique characters and talents. On the Autism Society's website it says: "Let's focus on the rest of us -- ensuring inclusion in schools and communities that results in the true appreciation of the unique aspects of all people."

How is this month celebrated?

This month is something special and is celebrated as such.

The celebrations include Presidential and Congressional declarations. There is also a plethora of online events and activities that people can find. In addition to both of these, there are many events and activities that people can find in their own communities. Many businesses dedicate a day or even special times each week to cater to people with autism spectrum disorder.

Everyone can make a financial donation to advocacy programs dedicated to serving people with ASD. Some of these include Autism Society and Autism Speaks. If you cannot make a donation, you can raise awareness simply by sharing online posts or joining in on a local event near you.