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April is World Autism Month, but what is Autism?

Here are seven things you should know about autism to help educate yourself and others

World Autism Awareness Day was celebrated on April 2nd locally and around the world.

The month of April is also dedicated to helping raise awareness, as part of that, AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity, launched a new report providing unique insights from the autistic community in Ireland.

The report provides a summary of insights from 1,600 autistic people, parents, family members and carers.

It covers a range of topics including education, healthcare, housing, life in the community, safety and the cost of living.

Read the report HERE

ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication, social interactions, and behavior.

Here are seven things you should know about autism to help educate yourself and others.

Autism is a spectrum disorder
Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means that it affects people in different ways and to different degrees.

No two people with autism are the same, and symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some people with autism may have difficulty with social interactions and communication, while others may have restricted interests and repetitive behaviors.

Early intervention is key
Early diagnosis and intervention are essential for children with autism. Research has shown that early intervention can significantly improve outcomes for children with autism.

Early intervention may include therapies such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and behavioral therapy.

Communication can be a challenge

Many people with autism have difficulty with communication. They may have delayed speech development or struggle with nonverbal communication, such as making eye contact or interpreting facial expressions.

Some people with autism may also have echolalia, which means they repeat words or phrases they hear.

Sensory issues are common
Sensory issues are common in people with autism. They may be over or under-sensitive to sounds, sights, smells, tastes, or touch.

Sensory issues can affect behavior and make certain environments or situations overwhelming or uncomfortable for people with autism.

Autism is not caused by bad parenting
There is no evidence that autism is caused by bad parenting, vaccines, or other external factors.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Autism is a lifelong condition
Autism is a lifelong condition, and there is no cure. However, with the right support and interventions, people with autism can lead happy and fulfilling lives.

It’s important to recognize that autism is part of a person’s identity, and they should be valued and accepted for who they are.

Everyone can help create an autism-friendly world
Everyone can play a role in creating an autism-friendly world. This can include simple things like being patient and understanding when someone with autism is struggling or making accommodations in schools and workplaces to ensure that people with autism are supported.

We can all work together to promote acceptance, inclusion, and understanding of people with autism.

In conclusion, Autism Awareness Week is an opportunity to increase understanding and acceptance of autism.

By educating ourselves and others about autism, we can help create a more inclusive and supportive world for people with autism.