Building understanding for the spectrum on National Autism - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Building understanding for the spectrum on National Autism

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It's National Autism Awareness Day, which means thousands of people around the world are "lighting up blue" to raise awareness about the spectrum of autism.
 

One in every 68 children in the  U.S.  are diagnosed with autism each year, which is why experts say today is so important.  
 
"Ongoing awareness, ongoing identification... It takes a whole village to raise the children. So everybody has to be aware of what the condition is and the strengths to it," said Jackie Mohler, a board certified behavior analyst.  

More than 70 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the autism. But every case is different, which can make it difficult for outsiders to understand.

"if you've met one person with autism, you've met one person. every person is different and their needs are going to be different. and so never just say they just have autism"

For some,  it means they can't stand loud noises like bathroom hand dyers or strong smells like tuna fish. Others can be non-verbal or become upset by minor changes in their routines.
Luckily, the medical profession has become more aware of these variations and individual needs.

"I think for autism awareness, we've come miles  what we've learned over the years is the earlier intervention we can start, the better."

In fact, the CDC  just put out a milestone tracker app this year that provides tips on when parents should be start a conversation with their doctor concerning their child's developmental health.

"There’s lots of interventions, but there's no cure. So we can work towards better outcomes, but an individual on the spectrum across a lifespan." 
 
Mohler says the best thing communities can do is understand and cater to the needs of individuals with autism. The Family Outreach Center in Helena has several outlets to assist people in with that. In fact, the group is hosting an educational autism awareness conference at Helena College
on April 3.

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