Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are We Getting There?

I am back on the road, or rather in the air as I write this, but I wonder if we are getting there. Where? The destination of awareness and understanding. I don't know if there is an easy way to gauge that answer. I know everywhere I have turned this month there has been something on autism.

Just today the people in front of me on the first leg of my flight were talking about autism and what it was. They were unfamiliar with what autism was, but the article in USA Today about, "early diagnosis may make a world of difference" got them talking.

From just hearing those two people talking I think the destination is slowly being reached, but the destination is still far away. It is a highly important destination and it may have many levels as it isn't so much just to have one sector of society because all areas to need to be aware. If just one area is lacking then the destination can not fully be reached.

Why is this? Well, if all doctors aren't informed then a parent won't get the diagnosis. If there is no diagnosis then how can the school system know what to do? If this is reversed and there is a diagnosis and the school systems are unaware then the diagnosis, in terms of education, is irrelevant. If a new parent isn't aware of the signs then much time could be lost in talking to a doctor, or course if the doctor doesn't know then that conversation will prove to be fruitless.

As depressing as that last sentence may be I think we are getting closer. My only fear is that this momentum I feel and see will end May 1. April is Autism Awareness Month, but what does that mean for the 11 other months? My life is dedicated towards Autism Awareness, but unlike baseball there is no season as the need is constant.

Tomorrow, wi-fi permitting at the hotel, I will write my Autism Awareness Month send off story so hopefully I get to write it.

1 comment:

  1. Have you heard of a term called health literacy? Health literacy is the ability of a person to understand health related information so that he/she can make informed decisions. Unfortunately in the US, it is quite low... if you ever look up the statistics. I know this because I have listened to presentations about this and I have made a presentation about this topic myself.

    Sure, doctors and other professionals are the main culprits for various reasons. But parents and individuals with autism also have to take some ownership of this problem.