By Cynthia Segura
Paint the town blue! It is April, which means it’s Autism Awareness Month. Annually, people take action and bring more attention to the cause. Many celebrities have taken their time to help advertise the special events that Autism Speaks does accordingly. These special events include shirt partnerships, Hashtags and wearing the color blue. Making people wonder where is the color blue coming from and what Autism is?
“Autism 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” explains Autism Speaks. This can be associated with struggles with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, but also by unique strengths and differences. This condition makes it incredibly hard, especially for a parent to teach their child about anything. Most of the time many parents have to stay home to take the child to therapies and doctor appointments. The therapies include going to developmental therapies. This type of therapy helps a child or adult learn their developmental stages, which they do not get to accomplish on time due to the person's cognitive side. Which lets them learn how to socialize, speak, sneeze, and other simple interactions. This is very difficult in the long run because there could not be just one cure due to it being broad and different for anyone with the condition.
Amy Kelly a mother of a daughter with global developmental delays of autism explains to the Autism Speaks organization interview about her frustration and comprehension towards Annie, “It wasn’t probably until a year that I realized she wouldn’t laugh very easily, make eye contact very easily, I would have no idea that it would be Autism.” Since a very age Annie found it very hard for her to do the simplest things and like the Autism Speaks website says “No two people with autism are alike, so because of the uniqueness of the situation, you have to be willing to really push forth and try different things until you find a solution that will help your child become their very best self. “ Mrs.Kelly says her hope on her daughters diagnose“The best thing that anyone ever said to me when Annie was diagnosed was ‘she will change, she will grow, she will get better.” Annie did not learn to speak until she was 10 years old. “I would tell every family never to lose hope and never go to what the statistics say,” Kelly exclaims “as parents, we need to believe in them,” Kelly explains in her interview about the time that it takes to make sure her daughter keeps getting better as a struggle that will change.
“It is always hard to try to understand and help your son when he can’t comprehend himself,” says Nelly, a mother of a student at Samueli Academy. Nelly and other parents like her struggle to have the one-on-one time with their children because of work, which is why there are events hosted by Autism Speaks where they campaign and receive donations. As said by Autism speaks in an interview “Your main job as a parent to an autistic child is that you have to be an advocate, and frequently a forceful one.” This is very important towards a child due to their developmental stages and how affected they are. Without the help of the parents and the doctors, there could be no way of determining how to help an autistic child/adult.
Tommy Hilfiger had a partnership with Autism Speaks by creating a clothing line for people with special needs. “My family has been affected by autism and the experience has enlightened me to their needs”, Hilfiger said in an interview with HollywoodLife.com. Hilfiger having a connection to the condition makes an awareness need for creating a line for people with special needs/autism. “Opening and closing a button can be challenging and some kids have hypersensitivity and can’t tolerate certain fabrics like heavy denim,” Mann told HollywoodLife.com. Clothes specially designed to look sharp and easy for them to use. As this clothing line progresses, it has become a big success, with special moves such as an easy open neckline, magnetic buttons, and adjustable hems. Is this the new and improved fashion?
A great and effective way to not only spread awareness but get involved in the community is the Autism Speaks Walk. And don’t forget to wear blue! You can walk/volunteer at the Autism speaks walk based on where you live you can find a close one. “Autism Speaks Walk is powered by the love of parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, relatives and support providers for people with autism. With every step you take and every dollar you raise, you help enhance lives today and accelerate a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.” Autism Speaks is a great organization if you would like to know more about the cause, the walks, events, or news. The walk is a way to not only contribute money but also talk to the community about the cause. The famous walk-a-thon is very important to the autism community because it lets them know how supported they are and how many people care about it.
Although autism has not been cured, there should always be the continuation of support within the communities. This will allow everyone to understand and comprehend the people who suffer from the condition. The campaigns have been going up and many companies, such as the NBA, Red Bull, Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Burns, and Tommy Hilfiger have taken the look into sponsorships to help these events continue. These collaborations help not only spread awareness but also more accessible for people with these conditions. CNN shows that “One in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a 30% increase from 1 in 88 two years ago, according to a new report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
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