As we enter the first few weeks of spring, we also enter a new season of awareness. April is Autism Awareness Month, with April 2nd being World Autism Awareness Day. According to the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is estimated that about one in 68 children has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Approximately 1.2 percent of all children in Wisconsin have been diagnosed with ASD. Day-to-day activities and interactions that can be easy for others may be challenging to navigate for people living with autism. Building awareness not only helps bring understanding, but it can also help foster relationships and help nurture personal growth and development.

What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

According to the CDC, ASD is the name given to a large range of developmental disorders that can affect a person’s behaviors, social interactions, and learning capabilities. ASD can affect anyone, regardless of background or heritage. It is usually diagnosed during early childhood and is seen more often in boys than girls. Early detection and intervention are important to help children learn, grow, and become as independent as possible in their communities.

How Does ASD Affect a Person?

As ASD covers a broad range, there is no “one size fits all” description of its impact on individuals. For example, some may need more help when it comes to learning, while others excel in learning but need support in social communication. The CDC states that almost half of those living with ASD have average to above-average intellectual ability. Well known people such as actor Dan Akyroyd, singer Susan Boyle, and animal scientist Dr. Temple Grandin are all successful professionals who were diagnosed with ASD later in life.

My Choice Family Care and ASD

The My Choice team is dedicated in supporting our members with ASD. This past January, My Choice Family Care sponsored a conference of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Wisconsin Chapter, and are their primary 2018 corporate sponsor. My Choice also has a variety of services that can assist our members in reaching their goals. These services may include (but are certainly not limited to) daily living skills trainings, supported employment, counseling, and day services, to name a few.

Your My Choice team is always here to provide support and resources. We strive to improve the lives of our members and encourage them to strengthen bonds with others so they can realize their potential and live life to the fullest.