Celebrating Autism and spreading awareness

Local News

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah (ABC4) – It’s International World Autism Awareness Day.

On April 2, the South Salt Lake City Police Department is asking the public to spread awareness about autism.

Every year, the International World Autism Awareness Day is observed on April 2. According to officials, the day came to rise within the United Nations back in 2012.

What is Autism?

“Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and behavior,” shares the Utah Parent Center.

According to officials, autism is found in both children and adults. The mental infirmity is known to illustrate difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.

“Sometimes kids with autism also have repetitive language (called echolalia); or hand flapping, twirling, or rocking. Many people with autism have little or no eye contact and seem to be uninterested in relationships,” informs the center.

Autism is also known as a spectrum disorder and affects each individual differently and at varying degrees.

According to the center, autism is one of the five disorders that is found under the umbrella of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD).

PDD is a category of neurological disorders characterized by “severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development”.

The five disorders under PDD are:

  • Autistic Disorder
  • Aspergers Disorder
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)
  • Rett’s Disorder
  • PDD – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

Autism Fun Facts

As we celebrate International World Autism Awareness Day, why not relish in some interesting facts?

Here are 5 surprising facts about autism:

  • Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939), a Swiss psychiatrist, first termed “autism” but applied it to adult schizophrenia. In 1943, the term was redefined by Leo Kanner (1894-1981) who dissociated autism from schizophrenia to create the modern understanding of the disorder.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders are almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189). They are also reported in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.
  • Many people diagnosed with autism have led full and successful lives, some including Tim Burton, Lewis Carroll, Susan Boyle, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and even Michelangelo.
  • In 2020, CDC reported that 1 in 54 American children is diagnosed with an ASD.
  • In identical twins, there is a 76% chance that the other twin can have autism if one twin is diagnosed with autism.

Resources available for the Utah Autism community

The Utah Parent Center has compiled a list of resources available to anyone in need in the Utah autism community. Resources can be found below:

If none of these resources are available in your area, the center urges community members to call the Utah Parent Center at 801-272-1051 or Toll-Free in Utah at 1-800-468-1160 for current resources in your area that may fit your needs.

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