April is Autism Awareness Month | Events

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April is Autism Awareness Month

April 2011 is Autism Awareness Month

Winthrop, Maine.  April 2011— The Autism Society of Maine, the voice and resource of the autism community, announced today that April is Autism Awareness Month. This year’s theme “Improving the Lives of all Affected by Autism”  as the key to individuals with autism reaching their full potential.

What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. The result of a neurological disorder that affects functioning of the brain, autism and its associated behaviors occur in approximately 1 of every 110 individuals. That’s up from 1 in 10,000 just 15 years ago.  Maine’s prevalence rate is the second highest across the nation.  Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls and knows no racial, ethnic or social boundaries.

Autism interferes with the normal development of the brain in areas that control verbal and non-verbal communication, social interaction, and sensory development. It is often referred to as a spectrum disorder, meaning the symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, from mild to severe.

Over 1.5 million people in the U.S. today have some form of autism. It is considered the third most common developmental disability—more common than Down’s Syndrome. However, the majority of the public is still unaware of how autism affects people and how to effectively work with individuals with autism. National Autism Awareness Month is a special time to highlight the achievements that have been made as well as the challenges ahead.

Autism Society of Maine is offering free workshops  around the state at these locations: April 4, 2011 University of Maine at Augusta, April 6, 2011 Thayer Hospital in Waterville, April 7, 2011 Spruwink Training Center in Portland,  April 12, 2011 University of Maine Machais and Waterville Educare, April 18, 2011 Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick and Conference on April 28, 2011 Dr. Paula Kluth presents “You’re Going to Love This Kid” at Keeley the Katerer in Portland(fee for this event).

We welcome you to join us this year for one of our many fundraising events.
• April 6, 2011 Portland Pirates Autism Awareness Night
• April 9, 2011 Sea Dogs Autism Awareness at the Ball Park
• May 1, 2011 Walk for Autism held at University of New England in Biddeford, University College of Bangor in Bangor, and Farmington Fairgrounds in Farmington from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  
• July 15, 16, 17 2011 Family Retreat Weekend held at the University of New England in Biddeford.
• September 24, 2011 Ride for Autism Break the Cycle held at Kennebunkport Conservation Trust Building in Kennebunkport. 

All events are also listed on our homepage.

For more information about autism and what you can do to help, contact:

Autism Society of Maine
72B Main Street
Winthrop, Maine 04364
1-800-273-5200      http://www.asmonline.org/