OUR VIEW: One Book One County struck a chord


By Daily News • Last Updated 2:34 pm on Monday, November 21, 2011

Autism cases and awareness of the neurological disorder are on the rise locally. Little is known about its cause or effective treatments, but families and individuals no longer are suffering in silence.
This year’s six-month One Book One County Montcalm campaign explored autism and its effect by studying “Look Me In the Eye: My Life With Asperger’s” by John Robison. The series of book talks and last week’s finale allowed for an open and honest discussion of autism spectrum disorders and their effects.

Autism diagnoses are on the rise locally. Chances are if you aren’t affected by an autism spectrum disorder personally or in your family, you know someone who is. You’ll probably come across an autism sufferer from time to time, as well.

High functioning autism sufferers often are difficult to spot. Sometimes, you may not realize the person you are speaking to has a form of autism.

One Book One County brought plenty of awareness and community discussion about what autism sufferers may be feeling, the added burdens placed on their families and how to act around someone with an autism spectrum disorder. The audience at the finale got to hear firsthand from two prominent families with autistic children and a doctor who works with autistic patients every day.

That’s the beauty of the One Book program every year. A topic that ordinarily wouldn’t be discussed openly in our area gets brought to the forefront. Often, the campaign helps reduce a stigma and teach a moral truth.

Hopefully the awareness from this year’s One Book series will help our area become more understanding and receptive to people with the disorder and families that are coping with it.

Editorial opinions are a consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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