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Did you know that autism is now prevalent in one in every 59 children in America? Over the course of the past 50 years, its occurrence has grown by nearly 35 times. To help bring knowledge to the growing and greatly misunderstood disorder, April has been marked as National Autism Awareness Month.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Autism is a complex, cognitive disorder that impacts a person’s ability to communicate and engage with others. It can be present right away at birth but can also form early on in a child’s life (typically within three years.) At this time, there is no one known cause to the disability.

As its name states, Autism is a broad spectrum disorder. It’s essential for us to note that no two people will have an exact set of symptoms, but there are common characteristics, which include:

  • Trouble interacting with other people
  • Difficulties expressing empathy
  • A dislike of physical contact
  • Adverse to sudden changes in their environment
  • Struggle with speech

Autism is a lifelong disability, but thankfully, it is treatable. Studies have shown that early detection can change the lives of both the individual and family. You can learn more about development milestones by visiting the CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early” site.

Since ASD has become much more common, chances are you know someone who is impacted by the disability. Fortunately, with more occurrences comes more opportunities to serve. Today, there are thousands of resources available to help families manage autism. In fact, the Wisconsin Lions Camp, debuted a new program for children with autism. Campers have an opportunity for a comprehensive program designed to help a child in the development of self-confidence, interdependence, social skills, outdoor recreational skills and environmental awareness. Thanks to the generous support of donors, summer camp participation is free of charge. Your gift to Lions Pride, designated for Lions Camp will have a lasting impact on future generations of children.

The Wisconsin Lions Camp is holding a New Camper Open House on Sunday, May 12, 2019, from 9 am to 3 pm. The program was designed to introduce new or potential campers to camp before the summer season. Attendees can try camp activities, enjoy lunch and take tours of the building (weather permitting.) If you know a special child who might enjoy a fun-filled week at camp, consider submitting a registration form today.

As we continue to make our way through the month of April, we encourage you to learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder. The more knowledge we have, the more we can pass on to others. Together, we can help create a more empathetic and supportive environment for people with autism.