There are a lot of misconceptions about people with autism: they’re standoffish, they don’t show affection, they always prefer to be alone, they can’t communicate, they’re all savants like in Rain Man, the list goes on and on. And while some of those might be true for some people, they’re not true for all. My brother is without a doubt, one of the sweetest, funniest, most affectionate people I know. And believe me, when he wants something he has ZERO trouble communicating it to you. And despite whatever challenges and problems may arise as a result of Ryan’s autism, I know I’m a better person for having him in my life.
Today in the United States, 1 in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism, and that number increases to 1 in 70 for boys. That’s a 600% increase from when Ryan was diagnosed almost 20 years ago, and there’s still no cure. Tomorrow, April 2nd, is World Autism Awareness Day, and all of April is Autism Awareness Month — use the time to talk to a child you know about what autism is. For more information, check out http://www.autismspeaks.org/index.php or http://www.autism-society.org/.