What is Autism?Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning it can range from very mild to very severe. The Autism spectrum is complex to the point that two individuals could both be on the high end of the spectrum but have completely different struggles, signs of Autism, and needs for treatment. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) doesn’t discriminate, it can occur in all ethnic, age and socioeconomic groups, although it is more prevalent in males. The National Autism Association has a great article covering the “Signs of Autism,” along with general and developmental screening information that can be found here. The month of April is national Autism Awareness month. Earlier this month, we put together a collection of resources and discussions to help raise awareness and provide further education to those interested. Below are the different topics we discussed online.To join the conversation please leave a comment below or connect with us on Social Media. We are active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and we have a LinkedIn group. For more information on any of the above topics, please check out our handouts created to provide additional or condensed information.What is Autism?Understanding AutismCaregiving & AutismFinancial PlanningMyth vs Fact Financial PlanningThe financial challenges of ASD can be just as overwhelming as the emotional challenges. As the caregiver to an individual with ASD, it is important to plan-ahead. The Autism Support Network put together a financial game plan that you can incorporate, along with a trusted financial advisor, to ensure that you child is taken care of financially. Myths & MisconceptionsDespite an increasing understanding of ASD, misinformation abounds. Here’s how you can help in dispelling common misconceptions.You can test your knowledge with our Myth vs Fact worksheet below! Understanding AutismIn order to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by those with ASD, we need to dig a litter deeper to identify potential signs.Individuals with autism often experience social impairments and communication difficulties along with repetitive characteristic behavior.The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke explains some of the common signs of ASD and gives examples of how individuals with ASD might find social interactions difficult as well as examples of repetitive and characteristic behaviors. Access the ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder Fact Sheet’ here!Autism & CaregivingParents have unique experiences and challenges that they face as caregivers to individuals with ASD. Learn how you can gain a new perspective by stepping into the shoes of a caregiver to someone with autism.David Royko wrote a piece for Parents Magazine entitled “What It’s Really Like to Raise a Child with Autism.” There are many ‘eye-openers,’ within his post that might help those who are not the primary caregiver to an individual with autism, better understand some of the experiences parents face. This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on April 21, 2017.