The Importance of Autism Awareness


A. Cordero

Becton senior, Jaime Sanchez-Cordero, attends an Autism Awareness Parade, with his family, in the Dominican Republic.

Autism doesn’t mean one is strange or incapable. People on the spectrum simply look at the world through a different lense that makes them unique, yet they are still the same as typical people. It is important to take away the stigma placed on autism. Those who are atypical may be more like you than you think. 

Autism spectrum disorder is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, which causes problems in social interactions and communication. The disorder also includes limited and repetitive patterns of behavior. The term “spectrum” in this disorder refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity. Autism includes conditions that were previously considered separate — autism, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and an unspecified form of pervasive developmental disorder. Some people still use the term “Asperger’s syndrome” which is generally thought to be at the mild end of autism spectrum disorder. Autism starts showing its effect in early childhood and eventually causes problems functioning in a society like in school or at work. Often children show symptoms of autism within the first year; A small number of children appear to develop normally in the first year, and then go through a period of regression between 18 and 24 months of age when they develop autism symptoms. 

A child or adult with autism spectrum disorder may have problems with social interaction and communication skills, including any of these signs:

  • Has difficulty when socializing, failing to make eye contact or to pay attention when being talked to.
  • Prefer playing alone, retreating into their own world.
  • Struggle to initiate and keep a conversation, due to delayed speech. Usually approaching them in a passive or disruptive manner.
  • Repeats words or phrases verbatim, but doesn’t understand how to use them.
  • Doesn’t appear to understand simple questions or directions.
  • Doesn’t express emotions or feelings and appears unaware of others’ feelings.
  • Has difficulty recognizing nonverbal cues, such as interpreting other people’s facial expressions, body postures, or tone of voice.

There are many walks organized by Autism Speaks that take place during Autism Awareness Month. To show support during this month one can wear blue, and in many tourist attractions across the world, like the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, they sport this color. You can also campaign for no-bullying campaigns in schools and towns since 46 percent of kids with autism in middle and high school reported being victimized in 2011 and some studies show that 70 percent of kids with autism, that are mainstreamed, are bullied.

A mother comforts her child while on vacation in the woods. (Jordan Whitt)

People on the spectrum are just like any of us, they want friends, they are caring and kind people, this was echoed by a social worker in Becton Mrs. O’Neill who expressed that the reason for her to work with teenagers and those in the spectrum is that she had the chance to do it in college and she discovered that people on the spectrum always offer an honest and unconditional bond. It is important to raise awareness about what Autism is about in order to remove the stigma that it has, the stigma that prevents people from being equal with each other because they miss out on the wonderful things that a person on the spectrum can offer to you as a friend while also isolating them from. At Becton, we help every student in the spectrum or any other type of condition by giving them a customized program based on their diagnosis and their strengths in order for them to have an education process as smooth as possible while providing extra aid to students, be it in an educational aspect or a

social one. 


People with autism and any other disorder are more than just people with a disorder, they’re amazing people who are capable of many great things, but who happen to also have that condition, but still people like any of us and should be treated as such by everyone.