What we can all learn from World Autism Day

Today is World Autism Day, a day declared by the United Nations to "highlight the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder so they can lead full and meaningful lives."

Autism Awareness is everywhere today, from blog posts on how today calls for more help in Latino communities to the "Light It  Up Blue" campaign by Autism Speaks that hopes to shine a light on autism by encouraging people to take the pledge to wear something blue today.

Since autism rates among Latino children have increased 110 percent, according to new findings from the CDC, it's important that we all take notice right now.

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Read more ¿Qué más? Autism rates among Latino children increased 110 percent.

Although no cause of autism has been found, the Centers for Disease Control does report that there are common situations among children diagnosed with autism. They include:

  • Children born to older parents are at slightly higher risk.
  • Higher rate of boys afflicted with it than girls.
  • A small percentage of children who are born prematurely or with low birth weight are at greater risk for having ASDs.
  • Some harmful drugs taken during pregnancy have been linked with a higher risk of ASDs; for example, the prescription drugs thalidomide and valproic acid.

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But even though there are some similarities, one thing that the UN really wants to emphasize with World Autism Day is that every child is different. In fact, to emphasize that people with autism are creative, talented and productive members of society they're issuing special Autism Awareness stamps created by artists with autism. Whether you're looking to talk with other moms impacted by autism or want to get involved, I hope that everyone will do something to spread more awareness about the disability that's affecting our community—and the world.

What are you doing to create better autism?

Image via United Nations