Valley Healthcare

In the month of April, your senses may already be in a heightened state – with fresh blooms, the smell of spring in the air, and beautiful, warmer weather. Why not add another new sense of awareness this month – about autism?

Autism isn’t incredibly uncommon – most all of us know more than one person, perhaps even a family member, who is autistic. The first thing to know about autism is that it is not a disease, but rather a disorder in neural development, the signs of which are usually first exhibited during childhood. Autism affects how information is process in the brain by changing how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize. Those who live with autism, along with their parents, family, friends, spouses, and coworkers, know that hard work and education are key to living a fulfilling and balanced life with autism or other conditions that are part of the autism spectrum (like Asperger’s syndrome).

As part of National Autism Awareness Month, the Autism Society is promoting daily education and “Facts of the Day” on their website. Some of these facts may surprise you – like the fact that with a 3 percent annual rise in autism prevalence going forward, the number of school-age students with an autism spectrum disorder is projected to rise by 133% by 2030. And sad as it is, the Autism Society still has to make work of dispelling unpleasant stereotypes about autism – like in the wake of the sad shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012. But unfortunately, it’s still vital to break the cycle of misunderstood and erroneous information that gets perpetuated about autism spectrum disorders.

So log on to this month, and learn more about the autism spectrum disorders, their symptoms, treatments, and implications. From children to adults, there is no reason why someone with autism or autism spectrum disorders can’t live a full, healthy, and joyous life – and education is the very first step! And if you or a loved one are looking to live a fuller life with autism or autism spectrum disorders, call the Valley Healthcare System main line at 706-322-9599 and get started making valuable decisions about your healthcare.

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