Nick Hughes
Opinion Editor

April is Autism Awareness Month. On April 2 this year, the world will be celebrating Autism Awareness Day. What exactly is autism though? How does someone know if they have it or how would someone know how to help someone who does?

Simply put, autism is a developmental disorder. It varies from person to person and has different symptoms. Some common symptoms include extreme social anxiety, fear of crowds, interpersonal issues, personal space issues, and panic attacks from time to time. Like stated before, however, autism is different for everyone who has it, so it is a good idea not to assume someone has autism who has autistic symptoms.

Autism is generally diagnosed at an early age. Ranging from infancy to pre-teen years. There are instances, however, where people with autism are diagnosed later in life. Local to this area is the Center for Autism and Developmental disabilities (CADD). It is renowned for its services and is a great place to go if someone has autism.

Some people with autism are willing to let others know about their struggles and get appropriate help, while others on the spectrum are more resistant to treatment. They might feel as though they do not have it and their diagnosis was false. That is for those with high functioning autism at least. Autism is a spectrum and has many different variations. Before the release of the DSM-V, autism had a classification known as Asperger’s. There was also high functioning autism and low functioning autism. All of which have different spectrums themselves.

April, like stated earlier, is Autism Awareness Month. People celebrate the month not only by promoting awareness, but by lighting it up blue for autism awareness. This is something that many different organizations participate in now. Over a thousand sites participated in the campaign last year. Places such as the Rockefeller center, the White House, The Cleveland Browns football stadium and even Millersville University participated. Be sure to visit Autism Speaks for some more general information about autism.