April is Autism Awareness Month and this brings us an opportunity to bring an important issue impacting millions into focus. Too often those impacted by Autism don’t receive the attention and acceptance needed and Autism Awareness Month helps bring a light to those impacted by autism the services and assistance they need, while bring more acceptance of those within the autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
There are nearly one in 68 children, or an estimated 2 million Americans, identified within the autism spectrum, a neurological disorder, which impacts behavioral, communication, and social skills. Autism symptoms usually present between the first and third years of a child’s age.
Autism Awareness Month recognizes the special challenges associated with autism for those living with the condition. Many families are in need of support and services.
Through Autism Awareness Month, those families can begin to receive the help needed as more people become aware of, and come to accept, those on the Autism Spectrum.
In 2008, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities reaffirmed the principle of universal human rights for all and the United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared April 2nd as Word Autism Awareness Day.
The efforts of the United Nations is meant to help those on the Autism Spectrum and in need of help to receive the support needed to live meaningful lives.
Autism organizations throughout the world use this day to bring additional awareness of autism to the public and to raise funds for autism.
This past year, the Empire State Building had a special lighting of their building to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day.
Autism Related Wandering
Once of the biggest fears parents have of children with autism is that of wandering. Wandering in children with autism is very similar to wandering in seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Nearly half of children with autism engage in wandering behavior, also referred to as bolting, elopement, or fleeing. Some of the dangers associated with wandering include; drowning, traffic injuries, encounters with strangers, falls, and other injuries.
Wandering remains among the top causes of death with the autism population. MedicAlert’s Wandering Assistance Service helps those that go missing, including those with Autism.
MedicAlert Kid Smart with free medical ID
In honor of Autism Awareness Month, MedicAlert is discounting 50% on a 1-year Kid Smart membership. Throughout the month of April, parents can enroll their children (ages 0 to 17) in MedicAlert’s Kid Smart membership at a discounted price of just $20.
The MedicAlert Kid Smart membership provides wandering assistance, connecting families and local authorities during wandering instances to help reunite families with their children.
MedicAlert’s Kid Smart program also includes 24/7 LIVE Emergency Response and Emergency Medical Information Record (EMIR) that parents can use to store unlimited medical information and history securely through MedicAlert. Emergency personnel are able to access MedicAlert’s EMIR during times of need to ensure proper care and treatment is provided.
Bringing Acceptance for those with autism
Although the initial goals of autism was to bring awareness and added funding for research and support for autism, there is also a need to bring acceptance of autism. Groups such as the Autism Acceptance Month wish to move the discussion to fully accepting those impacted with Autism.
To learn more about autism and how you can get involved, visit the website of Autism Speaks.