Celebrating National Autism Acceptance Month

Young man with autism

Today, nearly 1 in 54 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, a deeply complex developmental disability that is usually diagnosed during early childhood. While those affected by autism know full well the complex nature of this developmental disability, the public still holds misconceptions about autism, its characteristics and causes. In honor of National Autism Acceptance Month, we’d like to take the opportunity to lay out the basics of autism spectrum disorder and, more importantly, dispel the widely held myths about this complex developmental disability.

Autism – What It Is

The Autism Society defines autism spectrum disorder as a “lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation.” They further define autism as a “spectrum condition” meaning that its affects vary by the person.

Some signs of autism, which is usually diagnosed in the early childhood years, include being nonverbal or having some sort of trouble with verbal communication, a lack of interpersonal social skills and extreme or lower sensitivity to everyday stimuli.

Autism – What It Is Not

First and foremost, autism is not the same for every individual who is diagnosed and there are many forms of supports that can help people with autism develop the social, verbal, and interpersonal skills they may lack.

Autism is not defining of the individual, rather something the individual has. A popular myth about autism is that those on the spectrum cannot possibly live the same fulfilling lives of the rest of the population. Indeed, there are many science-based therapy strategies that are true game-changers for individuals with autism.

And finally, we feel compelled, especially now, to help dispatch the myth that autism is caused by vaccines. It is not. This widely held belief is simply not backed up by science. This year, it is even more important to dispel that myth once and for all.

How we support individuals with autism

At AbleLight, we are committed to helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, like autism, live their best lives possible. We offer ABA Therapy from a team of highly skilled clinicians, employment coaching and support, as well as programs like AbleLight College where students with autism and other disabilities can realize their higher education goals and develop interpersonal skills on a college campus.

We encourage those seeking support to learn more about our services and to read up on resources from organizations like the Autism Society.

This month, let’s celebrate those with autism spectrum disorder by taking the time to understand what autism is and what it is not and how we can all make the world a better place for people with autism by educating ourselves on the issue.