By Anastasia Iliou

For over 50 years, the Autism Society has been working to increase acceptance and inclusion for those with autism. During the month of April, thousands of local and online events collect donations for the society and raise community awareness.

What do you know about Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that largely affects a person’s ability to communicate effectively. The disorder does not have one single cause, and it affects each person differently. Some ASD behaviors include delayed language learning, difficulty in social settings (lack of eye contact, inability to hold a conversation), difficulty understanding logic and reasoning, poor motor skills, and hyposensitivity. That means that those on the Autism Spectrum often have a hard time processing loud noises, bright lights, etc.

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that autism affects one in every 68 American births. The cost of caring for one child with Autism is well over two million in a lifetime. So how can we make it easier?

Know The Signs

Autism is cheaper and easier to treat the earlier it is diagnosed. While there is not a complete cure for autism, certain treatments can improve quality of life if enacted early on. By visiting speech and mental health specialists, autistic children can learn how to best handle social situations from an early age.

When your kids are young, look for warning signs like a delay in language learning, constant movement, lack of eye contact, low imaginative skills, and a lack of desire for social situations.

How You Can Help

The Autism Society offers free online courses to help you better understand Autism and how it affects those around you. The courses can teach you how to help those affected with Autism feel more comfortable. Course topics include treatment options, education for those with Autism, Autism-friendly careers, and more. You can also sign up for Advocacy Alerts to receive notifications about legislation related to Autism that needs your support.

Autism and Medicaid

If you or someone in your household is on the Autism Spectrum, you may be eligible for health care cost savings. We’re partnered with Medicare Health Benefits to provide assistance to those with Medicare. If you need help choosing the best SNP (Special Needs Plan) for your needs, Medicare Health Benefits can send a licensed agent to your home to help you sort through your options. To request an appointment, fill out this form or call 833-GET-ENROLLED (833-438-3676).