Civic Duty Honors Autism Awareness Month

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In honor of April’s designation as Autism Awareness Month, Civic Duty and its co-founders Michael Omidi, M.D. and his brother Julian Omidi encourage others to join them in support of The Autism Society of America.

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Autism is treatable. Children do not "outgrow" autism, but studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes.

Civic Duty, a non-profit charity co-founded by Dr. Michael Omidi and Julian Omidi, honor Autism Awareness Month by urging support for The Autism Society of America. The organization is the premier autism advocacy foundation in the United States and it works tirelessly to improve the lives of people afflicted with autism, as well as their families.

Last year, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the rates of autism have risen to one in every 88 births in the U.S. and one in every 54 boys. Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder defined as an impairment of brain function that affects a person's ability to communicate, learn and process emotions. It can occur in any family regardless of racial, ethnic or social background. Since autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning it affects individuals in different ways, the exact causes are unclear but new research strongly links autism to genetics.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is primarily diagnosed in children by age three. It may sometimes be hard to identify since ASD is not associated with abnormal behavior but instead by the absence of normal behavior, especially speech and social skills.

“Autism is a far more common condition than we ever thought. It isn’t known if there are simply more children being born with autism or if screening mechanisms have become more sophisticated,” explains Dr. Omidi. “Whatever the reason, the fact that there are so many children and adults living with autism means that the public needs a greater understanding of the characteristics of the condition, as well as the needs of those who are affected by it.”

"We at Civic Duty greatly admire the good work of The Autism Society Los Angeles as part of an organization that is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those affected by autism,” adds Julian Omidi co-founder of Civic Duty.

The Los Angeles Chapter of the Autism Society is a non-profit 501c3 corporation with an all-volunteer Board of Directors. The Autism Society of Los Angeles (ASLA) was formed in 1965 at the same time as the national organization and proudly serves those affected by autism spectrum disorders, across the spectrum and across the lifespan, in the Los Angeles community. The Autism Society of Los Angeles brings together parents, professionals, individuals on the spectrum, collaborators, and supporters, to form a collective voice to respond to the needs of the local autism community.

Since the 1970s, April is recognized in the United States as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community. People concerned about autism are encouraged to contact their local representatives about autism-friendly legislation, wear the Autism awareness ribbon (with a colorful puzzle pattern), participate in Autism Society sponsored events, and donate to various autism-related causes.

The Autism Society of America (http://www.autism-society.org) was founded in 1965 by a pioneering group of parents at a time when autism was virtually unknown to the general public. The Autism Society is the oldest and largest grassroots organization within the autism community. Over the last 47 years, the Society has grown from a handful of parents into the leading source of information, research and reference on autism.  Today, more than 120,000 members and supporters are connected through a working network of nearly 150 chapters nationwide.

Civic Duty (http://www.civicduty.org) is dedicated to mankind’s search for meaning and promotes the values of its founders, philanthropists Julian Omidi and his brother Michael Omidi, MD. The charity’s mission is to inspire creative outreach, community service, and volunteerism through the stories of every-day people who are making an extraordinary difference in the world. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow men.” To get involved and help make a difference, send us a message using the website’s Contact Us function. More information about Civic Duty can be found on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter.

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