April is National Autism Awareness Month in the United States. It’s a time of year that is dedicated to educating the public about the special needs and challenges facing those individuals living within the autism spectrum disorders (“ASDs”). ASDs are a group of developmental issues that are shown to affect social, communication and behavioral functioning.
According to statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014, the disorder affects 1 in 68 children in the United States, reflecting a 30% rise in the rates of the developmental disorder over the course of the 2 years before that. Trends also show that autism remains almost five-times more common among boys than girls.
“Behind each of these numbers is a person living with autism,” according to Liz Feld, president of the advocacy group Autism Speaks. “Autism is a pressing public health crisis that must be prioritized at the national level.” (Source: CBS News.com).
Beyond ASD, though, there are many local families with a child with special needs. In honor of Autism Awareness month, I’ve dedicated this blog post to all of our Massachusetts families who face the daily challenges and rewards (because we can never forget about the love and joy each special person brings into our lives) of living with a family member with special needs.