by Emma Dauster
Autism, commonly referred to as autism spectrum disorder in order to address the range of conditions that exist under the term, is a condition that is characterized by difficulties with speech, social skills, and unique strengths and gifts in certain areas.
Contrary to popular belief, autism is not caused by one specific factor, rather from a combination of genetic and environmental influences. Furthermore, each child with autism develops it in a different way and expresses it in a way that is unique to him or her.
In recent years, autism has been on the rise like never before. Currently, approximately 1 in 68 children in America fall somewhere on the autism spectrum. This is significant, for, in 2008, it was reported that about 1 in 88 American children had some form of autism. This is a 30% increase in just ten years, as well as more than double the 1 in 150 rate that was reported in 2000.
In reaction to the rapid increase of autism in recent years, measures to spread awareness of the conditions that fall under the term ” Autism Spectrum Disorder” are being taken by many families and individuals all over the world. One of the largest efforts to promote awareness of autism is the dedication of the month of April as National Autism Awareness Month.
People from all over the world participate in National Autism Month and show unwavering support for those on the autism spectrum by wearing the color light blue on April 2, which is National Autism Support Day.
At BHS, we will show our support for those on the autism spectrum on Tuesday, April 17 by wearing light blue to school. By participating in this, students at BHS can become a part of a great movement to ensure all children on the autism spectrum are able to live up to their full potential and are valued for their unique talents and gifts.