UN Names "World Autism Awareness Day" - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/2/08

UN Names "World Autism Awareness Day"

The United Nations has named April 2nd, "World Autism Awareness Day".  Part of the reason is because autism is still somewhat of a mystery to scientists but its mainly because it is so misunderstood among families.

While the debate continues over whether or not autism is triggered by vaccines, most in the medical community say there is no direct link. Still, there is little information on what causes it and why it affects patients so differently.

Sky Arota was diagnosed with autism at age three and says, "It's only an obstacle that simply needs to be overcome and that parents really should not give up hope in their children."  And Dr. Joseph Piven of UNC adds, "This gets at the complexity of the cause of autism and we know it's extremely complex. While we know that genetic factors are important, we don't want to ignore environmental factors."

Autism was identified more than 50 years ago and today we know one in 150 American children is diagnosed with autism.   Dr. Piven says that the rest of what we know now is what we learn from kids like sky.

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