April is Autism Awareness Month

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By Christine Rumleskie

 

The Provincial government wants to bring awareness to a developmental disability that affects one in every 110 births.

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Just recently, the Province declared April as Autism Awareness Month throughout B.C.

The Fort St. John Association for Community Living is welcoming the proclamation. Special Projects Coordinator Cory Goodwin has experience in dealing with individuals who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

She says autism is usually hard to spot, and there are a lot of misconceptions about the disorder.

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ASD affects mental and social development. Although it affects people differently, those that have autism usually need assistance in living, language development, self-care and learning.

Meanwhile, Goodwin says there’s widespread belief that both Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton had some form of autism.

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Goodwin says ASD is hard to see in small children, and doctors can usually have to wait until the child is two years of age to diagnose.

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There is no cure for autism, but there has been breakthroughs in intervention methods that can help families address characteristics of the disorder.

On April 1st, the Province announced it will increase funding for autistic children under six years of age from $20,000 per year to $22,000 per year.

School-aged children and their families will continue to receive $6,000 per year for intervention services. School districts receive supplemental funding of $16,000 from the Ministry of Education for every student with ASD.

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