April is Autism Awareness Month

1 in 68 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism, and this is the month that many health professionals like to not only bring awareness to the disease, but clear up common misconceptions about the neurological disorder. The statistic was pulled from the medical and educational records of children. Kristy Parker, Clinical Director of the Bill and Virginia Leffen Center for Autism says that up until the early 90's, the disorder wasn't even recognized as a disability in the public school system.

"The field of professionals has become more familiar with the disorder and they're then categorizing children correctly as we progresses and understand the disorder."

Parker says the even though that number has rose over the years, the severity of the cases has actually decreased, and she believes that's due to better testing and awareness.

In clearing up those misconceptions that those with the disorder aren't as intelligent, or have trouble controlling violent behavior. Leffen Center Clinical Director Kristy Parker says that's simply just not the case, and most kids with the disorder actually have above average IQ's.

"Just as if we would be frustrated and unable to communicate for months and years on end, that's what we see in our kids. So, it's not that they're inherently violent, it is a level of frustration that anybody would feel if they were unable to ever communicate with those around you."

To show your support you can wear blue, and change your front porch light to a blue bulb, as well as participate in a walk they're hosting to raise money for their program. It'll also provide scholarships for the kids. It's Saturday, April 26th at 9 a.m. For more information, visit leffencenterforautism.com or call 417.347.6557.