The Autism Society Envisions "A Better World for Autism" in April 2014

National Autism Awareness Month celebrates 100 affiliates nationwide, American autism community

24-Mar-2014 12:00 PM EDT

Autism Society

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Newswise — Bethesda, MD (March 24, 2014) – The Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, celebrates National Autism Awareness Month in April 2014. Focusing on the people, groups and policies that make “A Better World for Autism,”, the Autism Society and over 100 affiliate organizations nationwide, along with the American autism community will shed light on a developmental disability that affects over 1.5 million people in the United States.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is called a “spectrum disorder” because it affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. ASD is the fastest growing developmental disability with an average 17% growth rate per year. ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Early diagnosis of ASD leads to early intervention. If children are diagnosed by age three and can receive specific, appropriate community-based services and supports as they age they are more likely to work and live on their own as independent adults.

Get Involved in April 2014 with National Autism Awareness Month

-Put on the Puzzle! The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world. This month, the Autism Society encourages all friends and advocates to wear their puzzle ribbons in a display of support. Share your photo with us on Facebook to win prizes during contests throughout the month!

-Online activitiesDuring April, the Autism Society will be hosting a number of online activities, events and contests for individuals to participate in and learn more about autism. A photo drive, #selfies4autism, is being held to encourage those living with ASD, whether as an individual on the spectrum, a family supporting a child with ASD or a professional working in the field of ASD support services, to share their pride and their self-portrait on Instagram and other social sharing sites. Weekly Twitter chats will be held under the hashtag #NAAM2014 and other events as well. You can learn more about this online activities by visiting our NAAM 2014 National Activities Calendar on our website.

-Join an event!Find local events. Nationwide, 150 Autism Society chapters hold a number of special events in their communities throughout April. See our calendar for events listings. For more information about any of these activities or for a toolkit of materials to help you celebrate NAAM 2014, please visit

To learn more about the Autism Society, National Autism Awareness Month and our partner autism and disability organizations or to schedule interviews with autism experts, contact Ashley Parker, Communications Manager, at 301-657-0881, x9015 or

About National Autism Awareness Month: Established in the 1970s to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, April is a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community. With 1 in 88 American children now being diagnosed, the need for services and supports is greater than ever, and this year the Autism Society hopes to raise awareness of the many issues faced by families affected by autism. Learn more at

About the Autism Society: The nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, the Autism Society exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy. For more information, visit

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