News Article Details

April is Autism Awareness Month

Rushville Republican - 4/14/2017

The birth of a child is considered one of the most moving and precious moments in the life of a parent. As the child grows, so do the hopes, dreams and plans of the parents for their youngster. As the child and peers develop and mature, if the behavior and social skills of their own child lags behind, a growing concern begins to develop.

Red flags are noticed as one's child does not keep pace with others their own age and often leads to visits to medical or behavioral specialist. Such visits, worldwide, have found that one-percent of the earth's population or roughly one in each 68 children, exhibits some form of signs or symptoms of the autistic spectrum.

As a means to bring attention to the various forms of autism, April has been designated nationally as Autism Awareness Month.

The effort began nearly 50-years ago. Since the early 1970s, the multi-colored puzzle piece logo is recognized throughout the world.

Autism the fastest growing developmental disability worldwide to the general public and is a term commonly used regarding individuals with neurological disorders.

As mentioned, there are various types of autistic behaviors that are now defined as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

According to researcher Paul Shattuck at Drexel University, some of the stereotyped behaviors of autism are hand flapping, body rocking (stemming), diminished communication, and anti-social skills. Additional early signs are an increased frequency to seizures, a delay in spoken language in young children and little to no eye contact when communicating. Children diagnosed with ASD are also frequently drawn to water such as ponds, lakes and rivers, and as a result drowning is the number one cause of death in young individuals with autism.

It is important to note that not all individuals exhibit those actions, and many autistic individuals have at or above average IQ's.

Children diagnosed with ASD cannot "out- grow" the autistic behaviors, however, through early intervention, autism is treatable.

A 2012 study on autism, conducted by researcher Paul Shattuck at Drexel University, determined that roughly 35 percent of individuals with autism ages 19 to 23 have never had a job nor received training or education beyond high school. The figure is staggering due to the financial burden placed on the general public due to lack of productivity in the work force. Additionally, the study determined that only 19.3 of autistic individuals were employed and actively working. In recent years since the study, due to training and more awareness of the abilities of those with autism, small positive strides have been made in the workforce. There is still a long way to go.

Locally, the inaugural Mayor's 5K in 2013 generated monies for local efforts to assist individuals with autism. Local schools instructors have had training in how to recognize and deal with autistic students.

In a 2015 Rushville Republican article regarding autism, Rush County ARC member Cindy Sickbert said there are ways and means to get help and that the local ARC chapter is there to help in a variety of ways.

For those in a position to become an active part in ARC of Rush County or to financially support the organization, membership chair Cindy Sickbert can be contacted at (765) 932-4563. Memberships are available on three levels: individual $10, family $12 and patron $25 to assist in ARC efforts. Contributions can be mailed to ARC of Rush Co. P.O. Box 44, Rushville, IN 46173.

Contact: or (765) 932 - 2222 x106


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