Autism Awareness Month

Angelica Fregoso, Staff Writer

Besides being the color of the sky and the ocean, or some other sublime marvel upon the earth, blue is also the color that is designated to autism. April is Autism Awareness month, which commences with World Autism Awareness Day on April second.


According to The Autism Society, “National Autism Awareness month represents an excellent opportunity to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance, and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis every year.”


Autism is an idiosyncratic disorder, since no two autistic individuals are the same. According to The Help Group, autism is estimated to affect one in every 68 children in America. There is a wide spectrum of symptoms that range from mild to severe.


Special Ed teacher, Ms. Andrew, chooses to look beyond the label of “disabled” when teaching her students, and does not allow it to limit what she is willing to do for them.


“I find that I can see progress in them, no matter how little, and they give you a lot of feedback back on how much they like you as well as what they’re learning,” Ms. Andrew said. “They do have their behavior issues, but it’s not the same as regular ed, so that’s why I like them.”


Autism is a brain-based developmental disability characterized by impaired social communication and interaction, and restricted, repetitive behaviors, interests or activities.


Being the older sibling of a special needs child is an onerous endeavor, but junior, Estefania Pena has a buoyant perspective concerning the well-being of her autistic younger brother.
“Most children with autism are ‘normal’ looking, so many people are very quick to judge and look down on the parents and family of a child that is ‘acting’ different or ‘misbehaving.’ People need to understand that people with autism are extremely sensitive to lights, sounds, touch and may react differently than most people,” Pena said. “My brother in particular can become overwhelmed when there are too many people gathered, so he will ask to go home and when it becomes too much. He’ll have a meltdown; most people will look and think it just a tantrum, a misbehaving kid, but it’s just him trying to get out of a situation that is making him very unhappy.”


Having been close friends with Pena for five years, junior, Adrianna Sandoval is well-acquainted with her comrade’s younger sibling.


“He always makes me laugh every time I go to Stef’s house, without even trying to,” Sandoval said. “It (Autism Awareness Month) means a lot to me, seeing how even though he has autism, he still acts like a kid and he’s just being himself.”


Although Sandoval’s younger brother is autistic, he displays the innocent habits other children his age do.


“He’s very carefree and sensitive; he also loves movies and music a lot.” Pena said “He basically has the lines of his favorite movies memorized.”


Like all people with special needs, autistic people are not defined by what sets them apart, rather, they are delineated by their unique mannerisms and temperaments. Every human traipsing upon the earth has a quirk that distincts them from their fellow peers; the idiosyncrasy of those with autism is their quirk- rather than debilitating them, it characterizes them. Variation is the piquancy of the human race. Autism Awareness Month commemorates the people upon the earth who ameliorate their fellow humans by exercising their empathy and patience towards others.


High school junior Estefania Pena loves her autistic younger brother, and established the genteel attitude people should utilize towards people with special needs, “We should be more accepting of their differences and not feel the need to ‘fix’ them.”