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'It makes me think differently': April is Autism Awareness Month

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Posted at 5:02 AM, Apr 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-24 15:42:31-04

INDIANAPOLIS — April is Autism Awareness Month.

Autism is neurological disability that impacts the normal development of a child’s brain.

One in 36 kids are diagnosed with autism in the United States.

Edmund Reese is one of those kids.

“He had speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy,” Gina Reese said. “We had no idea that he would have a cleft lip and pallet when he was born so right away, we were immersed in the medical world. He had his first surgery when he was four months old.”

Edmund Reese has been in therapy at Easterseals since he was three.

Now getting new treatment after being diagnosed with Autism in 2017.

“It makes me think differently than other people,” Edmund Reese said.

April is Autism Awareness Month, but Edmund’s mom Gina thinks “Autism Acceptance” might be a better term.

“We might be aware of it but being accepting of it means that we are open. We are opening ourselves to people who have Autism, and we are trying to understand them,” Gina Reese said.

It’s important to her people with Autism are accepted and seen as part of the community.

“You may not realize someone has autism. Maybe at work, at school or anywhere and I think it’s so important to keep the conversation going about what autism is, what it means,” Gina Reese said.

And their differences should be celebrated.

“Everyone is a little bit different, and everyone has something about them that is a strength and can be celebrated,” Gina Reese said.

How can you get involved in Autism Acceptance Month?

  • Wear blue or change your outdoor lights blue for the rest of April.
  • Start a fundraiser or donate to an Autism Organization
  • Raise awareness on social media by posting either a personal story and facts about autism using #myautism.