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Celebrate Autism Acceptance Month

The Autism Acceptance Month Campaign raises awareness about autism and educates the public about individuals with autism.

In 2018, the Autism Society initiated an annual campaign called Autism Acceptance Month to increase awareness and a societal understanding of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  As Autism Awareness Day occurs in early April, the Autism Society dedicates the entire month to autism acceptance. 

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 1 out of 36 children is identified with autism. While the CDC reports that boys are nearly four times as likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls, girls tend to mask their symptoms more than boys (thus, impacting diagnosis).

Autism does not impact every individual in the same manner, and the disorder ranges in severity. For this reason, autism is said to exist on a spectrum, and many clinicians refer to autism as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

In honor of Autism Acceptance Month, the North Jefferson County Ambulance District is highlighting the amazing talents, contributions, and abilities of individuals with autism.

What Is Autism?

Autism is a neurological disorder that impacts social understanding and communication; many individuals with autism also exhibit repetitive behaviors. Yet, autism exists on a spectrum, and while some individuals could be nonverbal and also struggle with intellectual disabilities, others with autism are considered “high functioning,” displaying little difficulty in communication or cognitive ability.

Some children and adults with autism exhibit profound abilities. These savant skills could involve mathematics, memorization of facts, music, or art. Individuals with ASD also may exhibit genius-level IQ. Asperger’s Syndrome, which is now a defunct diagnosis, is a form of ASD; Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and Space X, has been outspoken about his diagnosis of Asperger’s.

Celebrities with Autism

Autism is not an uncommon diagnosis, and many individuals with autism enjoy amazing success. Awareness, appreciation, and understanding for individuals with autism leads to a greater acceptance. Some extremely popular celebrities have autism, including:

  • Darryl Hannah, actress known for the movie Splash, Blade Runner, Steel Magnolias, and Kill Bill (Volumes I and II)

  • Dan Akroyd, comedian and actor known for Saturday Night Live, Ghostbusters, The Blues Brothers

  • Courtney Love, actress and musician who gained popularity as the lead singer of the band Hole.

Is Neurodivergence the Same as Autism?

The term “neurodivergence” is often used in conjunction with autism, but not all individuals with neurodivergence are on the autism spectrum. Neurodivergence relates to brain differences that impact the brain’s functioning. To put it simply, an individual with neurodivergence has a brain that just works a little bit differently than what is considered normal or typical. 

Two areas in which autism leads to neurodivergent processing include how those on the spectrum are able to understand social situations and sensory input. Individuals with autism struggle to understand facial cues, body language, and other language and social skills. Sensory concerns are also common among individuals with autism; texture, sounds, and light all could lead to feelings of discomfort.

Autism Acceptance: Celebrate Differences and Embrace Uniqueness

This month, the Autism Society encourages communities across the country to celebrate the differences of individuals with autism. Understand that the unique abilities of every individual enables them to make a unique impact.

Learn more about autism and discover how the Autism Society aims to increase awareness, support, and understanding of individuals with autism through the Road to Acceptance project.


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