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Autism Awareness Month

May 2, 2017

We’re coming to the closing days of April and in the final weeks of the spring semester. April has been filled with many papers, my birthday, and visits from my parents, but an important aspect of April to me specifically is that is Autism Awareness Month. Autism Awareness Month is an internationally and nationally recognized month, to encourage participants to raise awareness about children with autism throughout the world.

 

Here are some facts from Autism Speaks on autism:

 

Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by genes and environmental influences.

These genes are characterized in areas such as communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors.

 

On March 27, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data on the frequency of autism and this study recognized that one in 68 children have an autism spectrum disorder.

 

Awareness is important and fundamental to acceptance, especially in a society that often labels others as “different” and proceeds to treat them based on their social identity. 

 

Noah is my younger brother and is diagnosed with Down syndrome and autism.

 

Noah is 16 years old.

 

He loves movies.

 

He loves laughing.

 

He loves when all of his family is together at once.

 

There are hard days; days when lack of communication makes things more difficult, but, oh, does he make the hard days good.  Not only am I certain of the fact that by being Noah’s older sister I am a better person, but I have a clearer understanding of love and grace by knowing him and by getting to love him. Noah shows me the best parts of myself and shows me so much more of Jesus.

 

If you do not know a lot about autism I encourage you to find someone who does. Liberty has a student club, Autism Speaks U, that students can participate in to help raise awareness and earn CSER credit. Spend time around an individual that has autism – but warning, the results may be life altering.  


Kacie McIntosh

Strategic Communications