When I think of the word "Autism", the words lovable and delightful come to mind. However, being someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or being a family member of someone with Autism can be very challenging at times. Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of three, although sometimes isn't diagnosed until a person is three or even older in some cases. It's one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the U.S. affecting one in sixty-eight people and one in forty-two of them being boys. The reason as to why Autism affects boys more than girls is unknown, and boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have Autism. Some signs of Autism are social and cognitive impairments, communication difficulties, and repetitive behaviors.

No two people with Autism are alike, so others should be conscious of all of the different signs and symptoms. Being a person with Autism can be very challenging at times, but can also be a gift as some of those with Autism excel tremendously academically and are very knowledgeable. On the other hand, some people with Autism can't speak or have extreme sensitivity to lights or certain sounds. It's important to be considerate of people who live with Autism because the way they think and do things can be different than an average person. As I mentioned, sensitivity to light and sound is an example, as is aggression, self-harm, or repetitive behaviors. It's important to be conscious of these signs and be considerate to those with ASD.

Imagine living your life the way someone with Autism does every day. Picture walking in their shoes and think about how challenging it could be. Remember, not one person in this world is alike. Be aware, and be kind.