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As we commemorate Autism Awareness Month this April, it’s crucial to recognize that autism has been and will always be a part of our world. Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) goes beyond mere awareness; it requires a deeper, more comprehensive understanding. Despite advances in diagnosis and awareness, ASD can still evade even the most trained eyes. Let’s delve into the complexities of ASD and uncover the layers that make each individual’s experience unique.

According to the Massachusetts General Hospital of Boston, the autism spectrum is vast, and the presentation of one individual with autism may be completely different than the next. As it pertains to medication, there are no medications that are specific to ASD. Individuals with autism may benefit from the same medications as any other individual struggling with anxiety, depression, and so forth.

Autism does not mean that individuals do not understand emotions. In fact, many individuals on the autism spectrum are highly empathetic, caring, and loving. 

Autism is usually under-diagnosed in women and commonly misdiagnosed with other disorders such as major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder. Autism is often accompanied with other disorders including, but not limited to, ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and various substance/alcohol abuse related disorders. 

There are so many successful individuals on the spectrum, such as Dan Akroyd from Ghostbusters, Greta Thunberg, Tim Burton, and Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokemon, to name a few. Autism can be a superpower and with the right support in place, individuals can thrive and live fulfilling lives.