Autism Awareness Month


Alexa McClain, Journalist

April is the month that we dedicate to bringing awareness to autism. 1 in 100 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. That’s more than 75,000,000 people in this world! As autism is being found more regularly, it’s important we are able to recognize the signs in someone and handle situations or conversations with them respectfully and correctly. It’s a real thing and it goes on not just within the month, so let’s get on board and increase our understanding of autism!


The most important thing in bringing awareness to autism is knowing what it is. So, what is it? People who have autism may feel challenged with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech. This does not mean, however, that each person who is challenged with autism struggles with the same things. Every individual has certain things that they’re better at than others. 


 The National Institute of Health states that, “Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience.


This means that it may be a little more difficult to spot in some than in others. There are many times when people can’t identify that one may have autism and therefore they are more prone to getting picked on. This is why we need to be able to recognize the simple signs in adults and children that way we can stand up for them.  


We need to “ensure that individuals with special needs feel welcomed and valued where you work and are treated with respect just like everyone else,” said a piece from PediaPlex. 


Another easy way to promote awareness is by simply spreading kindness and love. Set a good example to those surrounding and show them how to correctly approach a conversation when engaging with people on the spectrum. Never allow bullying to happen in your presence and counteract any bullying with the goodness of your heart.  


Benjamin Jensen, a senior here at Mountain Ridge who is diagnosed with ASD states, “In my elementary years, I was bullied a lot because I had a hard time with social situations. As the years went by I got better and better at understanding social situations and I felt that the people who helped me made a huge impact.”


So, let’s put these things into action as we remember this month and bring the thoughts with us throughout the rest of the year. Let’s go out and make EVERYBODY feel important!