Friday, April 26, 2013

Every Month is Autism Awareness Month

Since the 1970s, April has been recognized as National Autism Awareness Month. Now April is drawing to a close, but just because the month is almost over does not mean that autism is going away. So, in order to promote a fuller understanding of autism, Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp is supplying you with some interesting and perhaps little known facts about it!

  1. When the term “autism” was first coined by Swiss psychiatrist, Eugene Bleuler, it referred to adult schizophrenia but was redefined in 1943 by Leo Kanner, who differentiated between autism and schizophrenia, creating the modern understanding of autism.
  2. Similarly, in the 1980s, the term “idiot savant” was changed to
  3. A study from three states claimed that areas with higher levels of precipitation also have higher rates of autism. Why? More pollutants, decreased vitamin D, and increased levels of television watching are some of the speculated reasons. (But remember, this was only one study! Still, I'm curious, if the study is accurate, where Portland falls.)
  4. If one identical twin is diagnosed with autism, there is about a 90% chance the other twin will develop some sort of autism as well.
  5. Between 30% and 50% of people with autism have seizures.

  6. Autism is more common than diabetes, AIDS, and childhood cancer combined.
  7. Many children with autism might be extremely sensitive to sound or touch but have reduced sensitivity to pain.
  8. Autism affects 1 in 88 children...
  9. ...and 1 in 54 boys, and
  10. 1 in 252 in girls.
  11. About 40% of people with autism do not speak.
  12. On average, autism costs a family about $60,000 a year.
  13. The 2012 National Institute of Health funds allocation was $30.86 billion, and of that money, only $169 million (about 0.55%) went directly to autism research.

This, of course, is only a small list of quick facts about autism. What do you know about autism and spectrum disorder? Let me know what I missed by leaving a comment here or on our Facebook page! And remember, Autism Awareness month is almost over, but it's always the right time to increase your own awareness and the awareness of others. We have to look out for one another, right? Spread the knowledge and the love!

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