In the past couple of decades, the perception of autism amongst young and old alike has completely shifted. We have moved from locking people on the autism spectrum away in mental institutions(or worse) to valuing people with autism on a high level. Autism awareness is taking a turn for the good in this country and many other places around the world.

Autism rates rising

One result of this increase in autism awareness is the increasing rate of autism throughout the world. In 2014, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 1 in 68 children are somewhere on the autism spectrum. This is a 30 percent increase compared to the 1 in 88 children in 2012. This increase in autism diagnoses is most likely due to an increase in autism awareness, which has allowed more training for clinicians and early childhood educators on the subject. 

autism awareness

Image source- flickr user: macbeck

Media exposure

In the past couple of decades, representations of children, teens, and adults on the autism spectrum in television and movies have increased autism awareness within American culture.
Films like Rain Man, I Am Sam, Forrest Gump, Who’s Eating Gilbert Grape and television shows like Parenthood, Hannibal, and The Middle display characters on the autism spectrum to millions of people.
This portrayal in the media has made many people more aware of autism in general. Some people may not have experienced someone with autism before viewing any of these films or TV shows. This exposure has allowed autism awareness to spread throughout the country.

Social media helps end stigma

In addition to increased media exposure, the rise of social media has helped spread autism awareness to people it may not have reached previously. Parents of children on the autism spectrum can now form support groups on Facebook and other platforms. Social media also helps people on the autism spectrum communicate in a more comfortable, easy way. The stigma autism used to have for some people has now gone away for many people with the arrival of accessible online information.

Seven Stars helps teens with autism

Although autism awareness is increasing, some people on the autism spectrum continue to struggle with social and academic issues. If your teen is experiencing these struggles related to being on the autism spectrum, consider sending them to Seven Stars.
Seven Stars combines residential treatment and wilderness adventure for a unique therapeutic experience for teens ages 13-17 struggling with neurodevelopmental issues like ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder.
For more information about Seven Stars, please call 844-601-1167.