As I interact with young parents with children with autism, I am inspired by their patience and dedication to working with professionals, doctors, and service providers to provide the best possible help for their family and kids.
Autism by definition is a condition that affects how a person thinks, feels, and interacts with others. It is a lifelong disability acquired since birth. Every person with autism is different.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism affects 1 in 44 children in the United States today.
Early signs of autism are not responding to their names, avoiding eye contact, repetitive movements, and many other behaviors on a spectrum. I came into contact with a 2-year-old boy who was fascinated by the tires on my wheelchair. He would always try to push me so that the tires turn and he would get so excited. I noticed he was always holding on to a toy car on one hand. His parents said he was into cars and tires. So I let him do whatever he wanted to do with my wheelchair. It was fun to see him get excited over something so random as a wheelchair tire. I can only imagine the daily challenges faced by people with autism. It is estimated that 25% to 50% of kids diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder never develop a spoken language, making it difficult to communicate.
April 2022 is Autism Awareness Month. This year’s theme is “Inclusion in the workplace: Challenges and Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World.” I have attended several autism night and hotdog run events that raised awareness about autism. All proceeds went to a good cause.
Please join me and celebrate Autism Awareness Month in April as we recognize children, parents and individuals with autism.
For more information contact NMPASI at (670) 235-7273/4 or visit us on the web at www.nmpasi.org, www.facebook.com/NMPASI, and follow us on Instagram @nmpasi670.
John Allen Cabrera (Special to the Saipan Tribune)
John Allen Cabrera is a client advocate at the Northern Marianas Protection and Advocacy Systems Inc.