Today is April 1st, known as "April Fool's Day" in the US, a time to play funny pranks or jokes on friends and family. But there is something that many families don't find funny at all....a diagnosis of Autism.
April is Autism Awareness Month. April 1st kicks off the 2nd annual "Light it up Blue" campaign. Over 500 iconic buildings and landmarks around the world will shine a bright blue light on Autism.
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). The other pervasive developmental disorders are PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not
Otherwise Specified), Asperger's Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Many parents and professionals refer to this group as Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Today, it is estimated that one in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined. An estimated 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide are affected by autism. Government statistics suggest the prevalence rate of autism is increasing 10-17 percent annually. There is not an established explanation for this increase, although improved diagnosis and environmental influences are two reasons often considered. Studies suggest boys are more likely than girls to develop autism and receive the diagnosis three to four times more frequently.
Do these statistics sound scary to you? Well, they do to me so I'm asking everyone to join us as we support the many families (including mine) that loves someone on that spectrum....let's "Light it up Blue"!!!!