Autism Awareness Month
Skidmore College will again offer a variety of events to raise awareness and acceptance for Autism Spectrum Disorder during the month of April. The events—including a variety of lectures and an informational fair and carnival—are coordinated by students in a psychology course titled “Developmental Disabilities and Autism,” taught by Rachel Mann Rosan.
Since 2010, the class has coordinated a series of events in April to mark Autism Awareness Month in order to bring attention to autism and the individuals who experience it—see the calendar of events below. The website for Autism Speaks, a leading autism advocacy organization, provides the following information: “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.” In late March, the Center for Disease Control released a report showing that the number of U.S. children with autism has grown to 1 in 68, compared with a report from just two years ago in which the CDC said that one child in 88 had autism. The CDC attributed that increase, in part, to better work identifying children with autism.
At Skidmore, Professor Mann Rosan has encouraged her students to draw on community resources to provide opportunities for the Skidmore community and the larger Saratoga area in order to learn more about autism, including research on the disorder and ways to support individuals on the Autism Disorder Spectrum.
In addition to the events on campus, Skidmore students will again assist with the Autism Expo, scheduled from 12 to 3 pm on Sunday, April 27th at the Saratoga Springs City Center. Previously held at Skidmore’s campus, the event has grown too large for the Skidmore venue, and is taking place at the City Center with support from the law office of Wilcenski and Pleat PLLC. Saratoga Bridges, Inc., and the parent Network of the Capital Region are coordinating the program. Skidmore students will assist with all aspects of the event, which is free and open to the public.