Given that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that as many as 1 in 50 children fall somewhere on the autism spectrum, it's all the more evident that Americans need to learn more about this complex range of disorders. Today – April 2, 2013 – is the sixth annual celebration of World Autism Awareness Day – and people across the globe are gathering to host events to educate others and raise funds for ongoing research regarding this disorder.

In honor of this occasion, one mother of an 8-year-old autistic boy decided to share her experiences in a piece published by the Public Library of Science.

"Autism is part of my son Jack's biology, as much as the shape of his nose and the color of his skin," explains Brenda Rothman, a writer, public speaker and outspoken advocate for people affected by autism. "I want the world to welcome him for the beautiful person he is. As a parent, an activist, and an ally of the autistic community, I want public acceptance of autistic people, not just autism 'awareness.'"

Rothman argues that, as the parent of a child with autism, one of the greatest challenges she has had to overcome is her own view of the disorder as something to be fixed, rather than accepted and even embraced. After all, while certain behavioral therapies and treatments – like hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy for autism – can help address some problematic symptoms, they can't change the fact that many of these children and adolescents experience the world in a different way. But that, Rothman points out, is an integral part of who they are. 

Autism Awareness Day is intended to combat the stigma that is so often bred from misunderstanding, and to pave the way for global acceptance of people with autism. At Longevity Centres of America, we are dedicated to helping our clients lead happy, healthy lives. Contact our clinics in Houston and Denver to learn more about oxygen chamber therapy and other detoxification procedures.