What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder with onset before age 3 with subtle signs of the disorder often being present in early infancy. The presentation of symptoms of autism can vary greatly; however, the characteristics necessary for diagnosing it are as follows:
- Impairment in reciprocal social interaction (e.g., limited eye contact, responding to people as if they are objects).
- Communicative deficits (e.g., limited or no verbal communicative skills, problems using pronouns).
- Repetitive behavior or marked adherence to specific routines (e.g., body rocking, problems transitioning from one activity or environment to another).
How Can I Help?
In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared April 2nd, World Autism Awareness day. However, many organizations have been observing Autism Awareness day, along with Autism Awareness Month (April) since the late 1970's. As U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared, "Autism is not limited to a single region or a country; it is a worldwide challenge that requires global action."
It is due to this need for global action that NECC along with other organizations, institutions, and citizens throughout the world, will be actively participating in Autism Awareness Month and World Autism Awareness day. To find out more about autism and how you can participate in bringing awareness, please visit the NECC website as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages, where we will be updating you with interesting autism facts and opportunities to help spread the word. If you're interested in making a donation to NECC in honor of autism awareness, please visit our online donation page.