The month of April is Autism Awareness Month and today is Autism awareness day, a call to action for autism. The odds that someone you know, work with or have had interactions with may have an autistic child at home. Colorado is in the middle in the United States for Autistic numbers, those affected by Autism.

World Autism Day TSM

The signs of autism are not always apparent, you may not recognize those with mild to moderate autism, if you ever do. Autism begins to show up in children in the first three years of life.

Some key pointers to autism may include:

  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
  • No words by 16 months
  • No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
  • Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age

Current research, do to better diagnosis and greater awareness says that 1 in 88 children in the United States are affected by Autism and some new research may even suggest that the number is closer to 1 in every 68. In Colorado there are 1 in about every 200 children diagnosed with autism, yet in some counties the numbers are much higher.

Each instance of autism is practically different. While similarities run throughout, each case is still sensitive. Many will have exceptional abilities in music, visual skills and academics. About 40% of autistic children/people have above average intellectual abilities. Others will have dramatic disabilities and are unable to live alone. And about a quarter of those diagnosed with autism are non-verbal and must find other ways to communicate.

I'm not asking you to do anything or donate, I just want to make sure that we are all aware that everyone has something going on in their lives and we should be kinder to each other. We are all living with monkeys on our back and most of us camouflage that part of our lives pretty well. So if anything, please have more patience for your co-workers, grocery clerks and clients.