SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The Pingree Autism Center for Learning hosted its annual walk for awareness Tuesday, gathering community and family members to celebrate autism.
Autism is now referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder; individuals affected by ASD can have a huge range of symptoms and severities. Nationally, one out of about 69 children will be diagnosed with ASD; here in Utah, that number is higher, about one in 54 children. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls.
One thing we can all do as we approach the conversation about autism is to use people-first language. For example, saying “a person affected by autism” as opposed to “an autistic” or “an autistic person.”
Another is to be willing to adapt if the person with autism makes a decision you don’t quite understand.
Finally, ask questions if you have them.
Joey Hanna is the Executive Director of the Utah Parent Center; she said, “Often time individuals with autism need additional supports, but really a loving accepting community is key for the families as well as the people who are affected.”
For more information about autism and early detection, signs visit the Utah Autism Registry.
The photos used in this story were taken by Jessica Danielle Photography.