As more people are being diagnosed with autism all around the world, it is time for us to raise awareness and for us to really understand what autism is. To define autism, it is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Autism is made up of all different conditions that can be characterized by certain challenges in social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. In addition to that, people with autism have unique strengths and differences that most people miss. Within autism alone, there are four different disorders.

Those four disorders are Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD-NOS), Autistic Disorder, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.

Along the spectrum

To describe the different kinds of disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome is the mildest disorder on the spectrum. A person with this disorder may be intelligent and able to handle their daily lives. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD-NOS) is used to diagnosis people who have autism but do not have all of the symptoms. In addition, it is a little bit more severe than Asperger’s Syndrome. Autistic disorder has the same symptoms as Asperger’s and PDD-NOS but they are at a more intense level. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is a rare disorder and it is diagnosed in children who may develop normally but quickly lose many of their social, language, and mental skills.

There are many services that people with autism have access to when they are in and out of school that can help them live their lives as they want to. Services include speech therapy, occupational therapy, and reading classes. They can also see specialists which includes a social worker and a psychologist to help them create goals.

Services like these help people improve their lives and try and reduce their symptoms by learning new strategies and techniques.

How we can raise awareness

Throughout my entire life, I have seen people diagnosed with autism do very well in the workplace and help others understand what it means to be accepting of individuals who are different.

Autism Awareness has been reaching out to not just blogs and websites, but also television shows, movies and broadway shows. Through a non-profit organization called Autism Speaks, many people can become educated on what autism really is and can educate others. Through the awareness that others are bringing toward autism, it helps us understand the kind of life an autistic person has.

I was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder when I was young and I was always misunderstood. I am still not understood by many but when I go out and meet new people, you start to see that more people are accepting of others instead of making fun of them for being different. As we go into this month, raise awareness so that more people can become educated on what autism is so that our society can be more accepting of those that are different.

Even though autism awareness month is only in April, we should be raising awareness all of the time to those who may not know what autism is and to those who do not understand it. We are going to see many people with autism and other disabilities succeed within the workplace and in school. Famous people such as Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin were autistic and they were very successful and were able to invent and discover new things. The more awareness that we bring, the more accepting people are going to be when it comes to those with autism.