Bringing awareness to Autism

Photo courtesy of Kayla Denke

Please donate to  to help those with Autism have a better and brighter future!

Autism is a broad range of conditions that impair social skills and cause repetitive behaviors. This disorder can lead to poor speech skills or nonverbal conditions. Though Autism is more noticeable in the male sex, it affects 1 in 44 children in the United States daily. The U.S. celebrates World Autism Day was April 2, 2022, while April is Autism Awareness Month. 

Mrs. Giorgi, the high school Autistic Support Teacher, wanted to say, “a common misconception would be that all people with autism are the same and have the same abilities/disabilities.”  

Another misconception is that autistic people can’t be successful, but what others don’t realize is that people who have this diagnosis are some of the most successful people, such as Albert Einstein, Michaelangelo and Elon Musk.

Autism branches into three major types: Asperger’s Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Kanner’s Syndrome. 

Giorgi mentioned, “Asperger’s was a diagnosis used in the past; it was a term meaning that someone had high functioning autism, but that term is no longer used.”

Once known as Asperger’s Syndrome and now known as Autism Spectrum Disorder, this rare syndrome has less than 200,000 cases per year in the United States. People with Asperger’s tend to be more high functioning but more socially awkward. These individuals also are persistent to similarity; they don’t like change at all. Those with Aspergers are either fully interested in a topic or not interested at all.

Rett Syndrome mainly affects the female population. This syndrome is extremely rare; there are about 1,000 cases per year in the United States. These individuals seem like normal babies for the first six months of life, but as time goes on, they lose motor skills, speech skills, and coordination. These symptoms can be present for years.

Kanner’s Syndrome is also known as Classic Autistic Disorder. About 5.5 million United States citizens have this syndrome. The individuals who have this syndrome are extremely hypersensitive to all five senses. They can’t communicate well and have trouble understanding conversations. These individuals also have a hard time keeping eye contact.

Giorgi also mentioned, “I believe we have a lot more awareness than in the past. When I was in school, we did not have inclusion (life skills or autistic support in any general education classes). Looking at how all students are included, starting in Kindergarten, many friendships are created early on, regardless of diagnosis.”

Here at Trinity, those in the Autistic Support Program work in the Hiller Cafe and School Store. These students also take on Community Based Instruction (CBI) at locations throughout the Washington area. It gives great opportunities for students to be seen for who they are and not their diagnosis.

Locally, Pittsburgh has some of the biggest donations made, and events take place to help raise awareness for those with Autism. The Autism Society of Pittsburgh has events happening all through the summer of 2022, starting June 10 and lasting through September 25.

This program solely exists based on donations made from multiple organizations and sponsors and was originally founded in 1983. 

One event this society holds is the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix each year and has helped over 4,000 families in the Southwestern part of Pennsylvania alone. The Grand Prix is a ten-day race with vintage cars and when the race is over there’s a car show.

The car show isn’t the only way to support Autism Awareness. Pittsburgh Walks partners with Autism Speaks and the money goal for this is $295,820 for the walk on the 25 of September at the Hartwood Amphitheater.  All donations go to help those with Autism by giving them treatment and lifelong services.