April is Autism Awareness Month
LGC Staff
Wed April 3, 2024
6:27 PM UTC
Thomas J. Lincoln

By Thomas J. Lincoln

Did you know that one out of 100 in the world are “on the spectrum”?

Did you know that it is Autism Awareness Month? Let’s talk about it.

On the spectrum means that you have a cluster of behaviors to qualify you with the diagnosis of this Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

ASD is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction, as well as restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. People with ASD may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention.

All these traits come in varying degrees. And that’s called the spectrum.

Regardless of where one is on the spectrum, his or her life is precious, like all of ours, and can be fulfilling, productive, and joyful.

For those of you who know about Temple Grandin, animal scientist extraordinaire, you know what a fantastic success she is.

Early intervention and support are crucial to maximize one’s potential. Back in the 1960s, when my brother was diagnosed with some type of disorder, later to be learned was autism, the standard practice was pretty much to ignore it, mainstream him, and ask him to work harder.

He passed away a few months ago. Except for the last few years of his life, he had a pretty good life. To be sure, it was marred by struggle and disappointment but also had great successes in education, lifestyle, and family interaction. But it could have been so much better had he been properly diagnosed early on and received the support that is now available.

The Autism Society of San Diego is an affiliate of Autism Society of America. I am proud to act as its volunteer legal counsel. I only disclose this in hopes that others may volunteer with organizations like this, and others, for people who need support.

It’s a wonderful group of people who comprise the ASSD. It provides support, information, programs, and sometimes just an ear to listen to a community that really needs help.

To that end, it has recently launched the Autism Helpline. Anyone can call with questions. They will do their best to help out.

I hope everyone takes just a moment to reflect on the above. Anyone diagnosed with ASD did absolutely nothing to cause it. They were born that way. As a society, don’t we owe those who need help a little consideration? Isn’t one measure of success in society the extent to which its needy receive the help they need? 

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please help organizations like the San Diego Autism Society. If you can volunteer time or give money, it’s a wonderfully good deed. I know everyone is busy with their work and family, but if you can donate a few extra minutes or a few extra dollars to someone in need, I promise your heart will feel extra goodness inside.

Here is the number to the new Autism Help Line: 858-715-0678

Be honest and kind. Please let me know if I can help in any way.

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