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By: Rose B
Qualification: B.Sc
The Evolution of Autism Awareness

Junior Blogger:


Autism awareness has not always been as supportive as it is today, and it has never been as prevalent as it is now. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 88 children in America now have an autism disorder. This has created a 78% increase within the last decade. Autism begs for awareness, as many individuals need effective support. The need will continue to grow, so it's crucial that awareness grows alongside its prevalence.


Why Awareness Is So Important

 Due to the growing number of children being diagnosed with autism, we need to create effective solutions. The now 1 in 88 children, will soon grow up to be adults and it is only recently that we're starting to offer effective support. These supports consist of intervention programs, family therapy, education programs, school support, and a variety of other support services.


Although treatment options are available, there is still a lot that needs to be learnt. The major issue is the unknown cause of autism. The number of children with autism is growing, yet there is still debate surrounding the cause. Society has become more accepting, but there is still a stigma that needs to be broken. Support is crucial for individuals with autism, therefore discrimination needs to be eliminated.


We need to continue to spread awareness so that these children will grow up in a society that not only accepts them, but offers positive support. With such growing numbers, awareness is essential. Autism awareness is also very crucial because it shed a light on a disease that is often mis-diagnose or mis-understood.  


Autism Awareness: Past, Present and Future


Autism has come a long way, but awareness still needs to be spread. In the 1960's, researchers had linked autism and schizophrenia together. You can imagine how hard it would be to effectively treat a condition when it is mis-understood. Throughout the 1960's-70's harsh treatment was used such as; electric shock therapy and LSD. When you think about autism, you may not be familiar with the symptoms or behaviours associated with it. In fact, many people are still not aware of autism and its effects. It was not until 2007, that the United Nations declared April 2nd 'World Autism Awareness Day.' Below are a few signs and symptoms of autism.


Early intervention is crucial, the following are some early detection signs and symptoms:


  • The child is not making eye contact
  • The child is not responding to their name being called. It will almost be as though they do not hear you.
  • The child is playing with toys in a strange manner, exhibiting repetitive behaviors


As they grow, you may notice that the child's speech is delayed. Some children do not speak at all. When they do speak, they may speak in a bizarre tone, or may even speak through a song.When it comes to playing with others, they will prefer to be on their own. It may even appear as though they're not conscious of other people's feelings. Preference for strict routine is also a common sign. Autistic children will often create rituals, and will become upset when this routine is disturbed.


Due to the growing concern and exposure, society is now beginning to understand autism a bit more clearly. It is important that our awareness continues to grow and evolve. The more people that are aware, the better. Thanks to celebrities such as Holly Robinson Pete, who are working effortless to keep autism awareness in the spotlight.


Celebrity advocates are important. They have the attention of the public, so autism awareness has the potential to reach millions of people through their efforts. Jenny McCarthy is another celebrity who is passionate about autism. She wrote a book titled, Louder than Words: a Mother's Journey in Healing Autism. Her son was diagnosed with this disorder. Grammy winner Toni Braxton is another mother who's son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. She is involved in charity work to raise funds for 'Autism Speaks.'


I would love to say that the future will bring a cure, as that would be the ultimate goal. However, many feel that discovering a cure is unlikely. The current scarce resources are and should be devoted to those who suffer from autism. These resources should provide more effective ways to comfortably live with their condition, improving their quality of life.


Research should also focus on why the number of autistic cases are on the rise. Although the direct cause of autism is unknown, possible factors should be looked at more closely in terms of the current, growing rates.


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