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April is National Autism Awareness Month

The Autism Society has been celebrating the occasion since the 1970s and wants people to look at April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community. Autism is prevalent in one in every 88 children in American, according to The Autism Society.

The American Dental Association and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research believe it’s important for everyone to visit the dentist regularly, even those with a developmental disability. The ADA encourages parents with special needs to talk to their dentist about their options for care. For more information on special needs patients and dentistry, visit www.mouthhealthy.org, click A-Z topics and search for “special needs”.

The NIDCR provides tips for people who take care of someone with a developmental disability who is unable to brush or floss his or her own teeth at www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/DevelopmentalDisabilities/DentalCareEveryDay.htm. Having a healthy mouth is as important as taking medications and getting physical exercise, and it can be achieved by brushing and flossing every day and visiting a dentist regularly.

On its website, www.autism-society.org, The Autism Society lists a number of ways people can commemorate April in honor of autism.

  • Show your support for people with autism by wearing the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon as a pin on your shirt, a magnet on your car, a badge on your blog or your Facebook profile picture. To learn more and to purchase a ribbon, visit www.autism-society.org/about-us/puzzle-ribbon.html.
  • Contact your state and federal representatives and ask them to Vote 4 Autism. For more information about the legislation and to take action to support it, visit www.autism-society.org/vote4autism.
  • Connect with your community to find out about autism awareness events in April. If your community isn’t holding an event, create your own. 1Power4Autism is an online tool that makes it easy to mobilize friends and family and help make a difference. Visit www.1power4autism.org for more details.
  • Going to the movies is not an option for many families affected by autism. The Autism Society is working with AMC Theaters to bring special needs families sensory family films every month. Visit www.autism-society.org/get-involved/events/sensory-friendly-films for more information.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

04/24/2013

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