Bozeman Deaconess Shines a Light on Autism
Nearly one child in 90 in the U.S. has been identified with an autism spectrum
disorder (ASD) according to estimates from the Center for Disease Control.
ASD affects more than two million people in this country, and almost five
times more boys than girls.
Many with ASD have not been diagnosed due to the complex nature of these
brain development disorders. To raise awareness of the condition, Bozeman
Deaconess Health Services is promoting World Autism Awareness Day on April
2. Bozeman Deaconess Hospital will “shine a light on autism”
by going blue for the month of April.
World Autism Awareness Day is one of only four official health-specific
United Nations Days, bringing the world's attention to autism, a pervasive
disorder that affects tens of millions across the globe, and to encourage
early diagnosis and early intervention.
ASDs, which include Rett and Asperger syndromes, are disabilities characterized
by impairments in social interaction and communication, difficulties in
motor coordination and attention and repetitive behavior patterns. Those
with ASD often are affected by flashing lights, sudden movements and overly
loud sounds, making it uncomfortable to participate in many routine activities,
such as attending the cinema.
As each person with autism is unique, intervention plans are tailored
to address specific needs, and can involve behavioral treatments, medicines
or both. Early intensive behavioral intervention involves a child's
entire family, working closely with a team of professionals. Many persons
with autism also have additional medical conditions such as sleep disturbance,
seizures and gastrointestinal (GI) distress. Addressing these conditions
can improve attention, learning and related behaviors