This Thursday, April 25, 2019, Panthertown will be hosting a meeting about awareness on Autism. The meeting will be after school in room 702. The meeting open to all Maryvale students.

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder is a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. In simpler terms, it is a developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism affects around 1 in 59 children in the US. There is no known cause yet, but it us widely accepted that is could be possibly caused by abnormalities within brain structure or function. There is no research that shows a link between vaccines and autism.

Some of the main symptoms of autism are repetitive movements like rocking, spinning and hand flapping. Another symptom is self harm, such as biting or headbanging. Other things common for people with autism is that they can be unusually sensitive to light, sound or touch, yet may be indifferent to pain or temperature.  They can be disturbed by change, or they can be fascinated and fixated by something without really understanding what or why it is.

Some ways you can help is to understand what the disorder is and understand that they can not control what is going on. When trying to befriend someone with autism, you need to be patient, communicate clearly, stand up for them, and respect sensory differences.