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April is Autism Awareness Month!

Autism - AMS FulfillmentBefore we leave the month of April, we would like to join in the global awareness campaign for Autism, as April is Autism Awareness Month! Before becoming a B Corporation, and years before incorporating the policies of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, AMS was working with specific community organizations to hire individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Caring about and for the community is what we do, so Autism Awareness Month is meaningful to us.

It was in April of 1970 that Autism Awareness Month was founded by a psychologist and researcher, Bernard Rimland, Ph.D. It was President Ronald Regan who issued the first proclamation. He is credited with opening opportunities for people with autism to live fuller and more productive lives.

In general, most of us know very little about autism unless we have a family member or friend with the diagnosis. Therefore, our first goal has to be answering the what and why and how questions – what is autism, why does it occur, how is it treated. We have turned to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for some basic information. [LINK]

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

“Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Some people with ASD have a known difference, such as a genetic condition. Other causes are not yet known. Scientists believe there are multiple causes of ASD that act together to change the most common ways people develop. We still have much to learn about these causes and how they impact people with ASD.

“People with ASD may behave, communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. There is often nothing about how they look that sets them apart from other people.  The abilities of people with ASD can vary significantly. For example, some people with ASD may have advanced conversation skills whereas others may be nonverbal. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others can work and live with little to no support.”

ASD is a lifelong condition, although symptoms may improve over the years. It begins most often in the first year of life, although with some children the symptoms may not show up until 24 months. When children with ASD grow into adolescents and young adults, they may have difficulty communicating or understanding. They may also suffer from anxiety, depression, or ADHD. These disorders occur more often in people with ASD.

Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Social communication and interaction is often difficult for people with ASD. There may be repetitive behaviors as well and different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention. Life can be very challenging for individuals with ASD and for their families. Diagnosis is difficult as well, as there is no medical test for diagnosis. Usually ASD is diagnosed in early childhood, however the child may not receive a final diagnosis until adolescence or adulthood.

The CDC article goes on to talk about treatment: “Current treatments for ASD seek to reduce symptoms that interfere with daily functioning and quality of life. ASD affects each person differently, meaning that people with ASD have unique strengths and challenges and different treatment needs. Treatment plans usually involve multiple professionals and are catered to the individual.”

Employment for Individuals with Autism

As previously mentioned, AMS has worked with community organizations to offer employment to individuals with autism and other development disabilities. Two community organizations in the Valencia community we are grateful to work with are Desert Haven Enterprises and Pleasantview Industries. These organizations provide training and prepare their clients for the workplace environment, and we in turn welcome their clients to AMS.  

For the enjoyment of our readers, we are including a TedX Talk entitled “Autism: Neurodiversity at Work Works Best | Layne Kertamus | TEDxRexburg” – It’s enlightening – please enjoy! [LINK]

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AMS Fulfillment is a Certified B Corporation, dedicated to putting People and Planet before profit. We work to B the Change we wish to see in the world.



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