Autism United wants to remind us that April is Autism Awareness Month. I admit that I don’t personally know much about autism but I have been open to learning about it as the number of individuals diagnosed with autism continues to increase. I have gained a lot of my knowledge through Brian and the special education classes he had to take as part of his Masters program. He also had a lot of first hand experience on working with younger children with autism when he worked at the local location of The Little Gym. Thankfully, he has been patient in explaining the spectrum and where some of the children he worked with and that were in the girls classes fell on that spectrum to me.
I say all of that because as with most topics in life the key is to keep an open mind to learn more. There is so much you learn about autism too. You can learn about the early signs of autism in infants and toddlers such as failure to smile by 6 months of age, unable to say phrases by 2 years of age, and avoidance of eye contact. Knowing that doctors cannot accurately diagnose a child until they are least three years old leaves many parents looking for the signs of a lack of response to their name, intense or violent temper tantrums, and the need to follow repetitive patterns in children that are around five years old. Even reading those few signs of autism can show you why it is so complicated to diagnose. We all know children who decide to talk on their own timeline or have the worst tempers in town. Diagnosing autism though has to try to determine what is a child being a child and what may be limiting that child in their development. It is a hard struggle for sure! The struggle continues even after a diagnosis is made though as parents try to determine the best treatment and even lifestyle changes for them and their family through research and support groups.
This is where you can add to the support system! Autism United works closely with TOMS. This relationship has provided the opportunity for Autism United and TOMS to really grow and reach out more together. As part of this partnership, they are excited to share a TOMS Promo Code to our readers so you can add your support to their efforts!