COLUMNS

Letter from the Editor: April is National Autism Awareness Month

Allison B. Hudson

April is set aside as National Autism Awareness month in the United States. Autism is a disorder of brain development. The signs of autism and symptoms emerge between the ages of 2 and 3 years of age.

Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 88 American children as on the autism spectrum–a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Studies also show that autism is three to four times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.

Research shows that there is no one cause of autism, but it appears to be caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development.

As the month of April is set aside as National Autism Awareness Month, each of us should become familiar with the signs and symptoms and help educate each other of this disorder.

Respectfully,

Allison B. Hudson

Editor