April is National Autism Awareness Month, a chance to celebrate these afflicted but remarkable members of our community and better educate the public on the nature of autism. And The Color of Autism Foundation, an organization devoted to raising awareness about African Americans living with autism, will mark the occasion on April 2, kicking off fundraising events and donation drives.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of neurological and developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communicational and behavioral challenges among those who have it. A surprising statistic by the Center for Disease Control even points out that about one in 88 children are living with it in America today. The disease is most prevalent among among African American and Hispanic males, who have a rate of one in 54.
Founded in 2009, The Color of Autism, a nonprofit organization, works to educate and assist African American families with Autistic children, who are frequently confronted with late diagnoses or misdiagnoses due to insufficient health care plans. The foundation’s goal is to help families identify the warning signs of autism early on, explains founder Camille Proctor. “We can start to overturn these disparities by helping African Americans with autism reach their full potential and empowering families with information on autism that they can use to advocate services for their child.”
“We are committed to raising public awareness about ASD,” she continues, “empowering families and lessening their isolation. We are dedicated to ensuring that all people with autism receive appropriate and effective services to maximize their growth potential.”
The foundation is currently working on a documentary film, offering a new perspective on the Autism epidemic. “Screaming in Silence: Autism” is a documentary about the affects of Autism on African American families, which has a resonating impact on the school systems, health and human services, judicial system, medical, mental health, therapeutic industry and caregivers in African American communities.
This film follows the daily lives of several families across the United States who have children, both young and old, who suffer from autism. What the film hopes to make clear is, though autistic individuals are as unique and land full of life as anyone, their caregivers and loved ones share one ubiquitous goal: to fight to ensure their children have the best quality of life.
For more information on how to take action or donate to this organization during the month of April, please contact info@TheColorOfAutism.org or visit www.TheColorOfAutism.org. Click here to see trailer for “Screaming in Silence: Autism.”