April is National Autism Awareness Month, a full 30 days dedicated to educating the public about autism as well as highlighting issues families with autistic members face.

According to “Autism Speaks,” Autism affects 1 in 68 children, with a higher ratio affecting boys (boys are 5 times more likely to have autism than girls). And that number is growing rapidly. There is no medical detection or cure for autism. And the average annual cost for a family who has a member with autism is $60,000 for care, behavioral treatments, and medicines, among other necessities.

This month, awareness is being celebrated across the United States through online events and activities, as well as on a local front. The Swain Center in Santa Rosa, a locally owned speech therapy center, is offering a client appreciation week for the first week of April. The center provides a lot of services for children with autism, and wishes to celebrate the kids they’ve been working with. Each day they will be doing something special, ending the week with a pizza party. They will also be raising money for national non-profit TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) with a chance to honor those you love with autism.

You may also notice that all of the windows to the Farmers Lane office will be lit up blue. Many businesses, homes, places of worship, landmarks, and more will “Light It Up Blue” with blue lights in their windows or in/outside their building to show support for the autism community.

The Swain Center offers early intervention preschool classes, tutoring, social skills, and speech therapy. If your child struggles with speech, whether from autism or other reasons, consider checking this business out. Their website is www.theswaincenter.com, or you can reach them by phone at (707) 575-1468. They are located at 795 Farmers Lane, Suite 23.

Is your business or home honoring National Awareness Month in April? Leave a note in the comments and let us know what you’re doing.

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