Today, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day. Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that lasts throughout a person's lifetime, and is part of a group of disorders known as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It is estimated that as many as 67 million individuals are affected by autism, making it more common in most countries than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. All of these disorders are characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills and social abilities, and also by repetitive behaviors. My son Jayson, who has Asperger's Syndrome, is one of those affected by this disorder.
Since autism now affects about 1 in 110 children and adults, you probably know someone with an autism spectrum disorder. This month I ask that you be aware of the struggles these inviduals face on a daily basis. Be patient, be kind, be understanding - be aware.