Autism Awareness Month

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Digitally generated Autism awareness design vector

by Jonah Grimes

April is a month of fun times and warm weather. The time where you get together with loved ones and just take a moment to sit back and enjoy life. April is also Autism Awareness Month; a time to educate people on autism and spread acceptance and inclusion in the classroom and beyond.

All across America people are starting to become more aware and respectful of people diagnosed with autism. There are many health organizations that help people with autism so that they can function as active members in the community. Many students and staff here at Oakdale High School know or are related to someone who has been diagnosed with autism and have worked with them. “Yes I’ve worked with them, preschoolers and family members,” stated Junior Alyssa Foster.

There are many different forms of autism that all fall on the Autism Spectrum. “My experiences vary due to the different characteristics of each person.  There is an autism spectrum scale that determines the varying degrees in which a person is impacted by communication, behavior, and social interactions,” stated Special Education Department Chair Mrs. Greta Harrison when discussing her experience with people who have autism.

Autism in itself is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.

Everyday people with autism struggle to be a part of society because there are people out there who bully them and make them feel inferior. This month we would like everyone to be a little more aware of the people who suffer from this disability, and hope that everyone would reach out and be a friend to someone with autism.

Many people who have friends or family with autism have a unique perspective and a new outlook on the way they see and treat others. “I have a different perspective than most people.  I tend to look at people and appreciate them for what they bring to the lives of others.  Each student in this building has something to offer — sometimes that ‘something’ is subtle; other times, not”, stated Mrs. Lynne Sclar, a special education teacher.

Many people look down on those with autism and see them as a burden, but that is hardly the case. Around the world people with autism have contributed to society in many positive ways. Throughout history people like Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton, who have had autism, made great contributions to not only their societies but the whole world, even now.

So this month be a little more aware, reach out to someone with autism, and celebrate this month of acceptance and understanding.