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I'm Joe Butler, founder of Ability Tree, and parent of a child with autism. April is Autism Awareness Month. You've heard about autism, but what is it exactly?

According to the Autism Society, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. Autism affects 1 in 68 children. Some behaviors associated with autism include difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation, and poor motor skills and sensory sensitivities.

Over the years, I have learned how to better communicate and interact with my son. Micah has taught me to be more care-free and content, to not worry about what others think or say, and to enjoy each day that we are given.

Individuals with autism are created in the image of God for a purpose just like you and me. Take some time this month to get to know someone with autism, you will be glad you did.

If you want to know more about autism or other disabilities, or you know a family affected by disabilities that could use some help, contact us on Facebook or at AbilityTree.org.