COLUMBUS, Ohio — Autism Awareness month is getting a bit of a makeover.
While one in 44 children are diagnosed with autism, advocates say it's likely everyone has been directly or indirectly impacted by the disorder in some way.
That's one of the reasons why "Autism Awareness Month" is now being rebranded as Autism Awareness, Acceptance and Advocacy Month, or 4A for short.
Sarah McClary is the mother of a 10-year-old girl with autism, but she's not just a parent. McClary is also a board-certified behavior analyst for Hopebridge Autism Therapy. She agrees it's time to move past awareness and move to acceptance.
"To know of their differences and to teach your children at home and at school and in the community about differences and how we accept that acceptance and recognition of the fact that kids with autism experience the world differently and may be overwhelmed by an environment," McClary said.
While there is no cure for autism, behavior analysts say early intervention is essential.
Signs of autism spectrum disorder include difficulty with communication and social interactions, obsessive interests and repetitive behaviors.
Applied behavioral analysis and services can allow children with ASD to build skills to learn, grow and succeed in a world not created for them to easily adapt.
To learn more about Autism Acceptance Month, click here.