April is here, marking the return of Autism Awareness Month.
The month of April will be filled with numerous media events reminding us that the autism is now more prevalent than ever, and more families are still struggling with what’s termed "the mystery of autism." To these families, autism is something they live with every day, not just one month a year, of course – but the increased focus is important. Tomorrow, April 2, marks "World Autism Day," on which networks like CNN will devote significant time to autism. CNN and Dr. Sanjay Gupta have not shied away from asking the hard questions about vaccines and environmental concerns – it’s about the best you can expect from mainstream media. Other sources like David Kirby’s Huffington Post pieces and Dan Olmsted’s "Age of Autism" entries are well worth checking out to get the full picture.
And if you haven’t already, I encourage you to watch HBO’s "Autism: The Musical." It’s a remarkably moving portrayal of several autistic children and their familes, as they work with a theater group to develop and put on a musical show. There is no sugar-coating here – it’s not a "happy-ending-and-damn-the-unpleasantries" production. But it is well worth your time to witness these families’ struggles.