April is Autism Awareness Month, and April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. Governor Kay Ivey signed a proclamation recognizing the cause statewide.

Shelby DiPilla, founder of Akilli’s House, a non-profit in South Alabama dedicated to helping those with autism spectrum disorder, said she is thankful for the proclamation because people need to know how special those with autism truly are.

“I think the biggest takeaway is that people with autism are unique like everybody else, and sometimes they do need a little bit more support and understanding, but they are absolutely amazing, and it's totally worth it to get to know them,” DiPilla told 1819 News.

Akilli’s House offers community support by giving parents a free break.

“We do a lot of fun activities with the kids,” DiPilla said. “We order a pizza, things like that. Akili's House is also working on doing an autism care closet where families will be able to get any needed materials.”

DiPilla, who also owns Beacon of Heath ABA, said a lot more people are impacted by autism than you might think.

“So, the current statistics for autism are that one in 36 children and one in 45 adults are actually on the autism spectrum,” she said. “And so it's a lot more prevalent than I think a lot of people realize. And the thing about autism is it does, it can make life a little more difficult for those who have autism spectrum disorder. But at the same time, they are all unique individuals. They have incredible strengths. It's so amazing to me that I get to work with people with autism every day because the way they see the world is so different sometimes. “

The proclamation states that early detection and diagnosis can improve the development of individuals living with autism.

The full proclamation, signed by Ivey, can be read below.

Autism by Erica Thomas on Scribd

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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