April is Autism Awareness Month

  • Monday, March 31, 2014

Autism is a word that pops up on a regular basis on the news, in newspapers and even during conversations with friends, family and colleagues. It is not surprising that this disorder gets more and more attention – based on statistics accumulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 88 children has been identified with autism or autism spectrum disorder.

Boys are five times more likely to be afflicted than girls. The terms autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are both used for a specific group of complex disorders of brain development.

The term “spectrum” refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills and levels of impairment, or disability, that children with ASD can have.

What causes ASD?

Science hasn't discovered all the causes yet, but the explanation they had in the 1950s-1960s is luckily passť. In those days, the blame was solemnly placed at the feet of the “Refrigerator Mom.” Autism was blamed on the mother's failure to bond with her child; these mothers were thought to be cold and unaffectionate.

Nowadays scientists have learned that there are likely many causes for multiple types of ASD.

There may be many different factors that make a child more likely to have an ASD, including environmental, biological and genetic aspects.

Nothing is more devastating for a parent than to hear that your baby is not “healthy,” and worse, that there is, at the moment, no cure.

The child with ASD will probably encounter difficulties throughout her or his life, yet early detection and treatment improve the outcomes, often dramatically.

Since there is an increasing need for information about ASD, the Autism Society of America celebrates – since the 1970s – National Autism Awareness Month in April. The Mount Pleasant Regional Library also wants to create awareness and to help educate people by displaying a wealth of information, including local resources for diagnosis, treatment and support.

Some of the books that will be on display, unless somebody snatches them up and checks them out, include:

“The Autism Revolution: Whole-Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be” by Martha Herbert, MD, PhD, with Karen Weintraub. Dr. Herbert teaches how to approach autism as a collection of problems that can be overcome – and talents that can be developed.

Each success achieved gives the child more room to become healthy and to succeed.

“A Full Life with Autism: From Learning to Forming Relationships to Achieving” by Chantal Sicile-Kira and Jeremy Sicile-Kira, is a guide to help children lead meaningful and independent lives as they reach adulthood.

“The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum” by Temple Grandin. Temple intertwines her own experience with remarkable new discoveries; she introduces the neuroimaging advances and genetic research that link brain science to behavior, even sharing her own brain scans from numerous studies.

“The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism” by Naoki Higahida. In this book, Naoki describes how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives and responds in ways few of us can imagine.

“The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing, Genius and Autism” by Kristine Barnett was profiled in-depth in “Memoirs of Ordinary People Can Make Great Reading” by Lua Wells in Between the Stacks on December 18, 2013.

Please visit the Mount Pleasant Regional Library during the month of April and check out the window display in the children's department to learn more about autism spectrum disorder.


National Autism Awareness Month

Throughout April

Parents and children of all ages are invited to visit the window display in the children's department to learn more about autism spectrum disorders.

Early Literacy Station

Throughout April

Visit the Early Literacy Station for a fun activity based on the S.C. Day-by-Day Family Literacy Activity Calendar. The theme for April is reading.

Mount Pleasant Reel Club – A book/movie discussion group (adults)

Wednesday, April 2 at 2 p.m.

Book: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

Movie: “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Not Rated; 130 minutes.

AARP Tax Assistance

Fridays, April 4 and 11 from 1-5 p.m.

Monday, April 7 from 1-5 p.m.

Receive free income tax preparation and electronic filing assistance from AARP volunteers.

A current picture ID and Social Security card are required, along with Social Security cards of any dependents. Assistance is first come, first served. Priority given to senior citizens.

Do-It-Yourself Arts and Crafts with Ms. Grace

Saturday, April 5 from 1:30-3 p.m.

Wii Wants You Afterschool Program (grades 6-12)

Tuesday, April 8 at 4 p.m.

Have fun, play Wii games and eat a snack.

Great Decisions Group II (adults)

Wednesday, April 9 from 4-6 p.m.

Topic: Energy Independence. Read the briefing materials and come prepared for a good discussion. For information, contact the Reference Desk at 843-849-6161 or mtpreference@ccpl.org.

Second Saturday Writing Critique Group (ages 16 and older)

Saturday, April 12 from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Open to all writers. For more information, call the Reference Desk at 843-849-6161 or email mtpreference@ccpl.org.

Monday Book Discussion (adults)

Monday, April 14 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“Below Stairs” by Margaret Powell

The Fiddlers of Sullivan's Island (ages 5 and older)

Monday, April 14 at 3 p.m.

Local author Jeanie Truesdale Heath will share her picture book, “The Fiddlers of Sullivan's Island,” and introduce you to some live fiddler crabs.

Mount Pleasant Cribbage Club (adults)

Tuesday, April 15 from 2-3:30 p.m.

Learn to play the classic game Cribbage, or come for a challenging match. No experience necessary.

Spring Break Planetarium Programs: The Lunar Eclipse and Constellations of Spring

Wednesday, April 16 from 3-4:30 p.m.

Thirty-minute sessions start at 3 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Join Andy Cohen of Dome Education and explore the lunar eclipse and the phases of the moon.

Learn how to find the constellations of spring during this exciting portable indoor planetarium program. An April star map is included. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.


Babygarten (ages 0-18 months with a caregiver)

Wednesdays, April 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 at 10 a.m.

Fridays, April 4, 11 and 18 at 10 a.m.

Baby Bumblebees Storytime (ages 6-24 months with a caregiver)

Thursdays, April 3, 10, 17 and 24 at 10 a.m.

Twos and Threes Storytime (ages 2-3 years with a caregiver)

Tuesdays, April 8, 15, 22 and 29 at 10:30 a.m.

Fours and Fives Storytime (ages 4-5 years)

Thursdays, April 3, 10, 17 and 24 at 11:30 a.m.

Saturday Storytime (planned for ages 2-6 years; all ages welcome)

Saturdays, April 5, 12 and 26 at 11 a.m.

Saturday, April 19 at 1 p.m.

Mirjam Veldkamp is the Young Adult Specialist at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library Branch (1133 Mathis Ferry Road, 843-849-6161, www.mtplibrary.blogspot.com, www.ccpl.org, like us on Facebook). Email mtpreference@ccpl.org if you wish to receive a PDF copy of the programs being held each month at Mount Pleasant Regional.

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