April is Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month. I’m proud to say that I’m a strong supporter of all things that benefit those who suffer from autism. And, I’m equally proud to say that I have plenty of support from my fellow Bassmaster Elite Series pros.

It all starts with awareness. Although I do not have any children of my own who are autistic, I know plenty that are connected to it or deal with it in some way. It’s a kind of developmental disorder with varying symptoms — some severe, some not so much. Either way, autism is something that needs our attention.  

Basically, autism is a condition that manifests itself with repetitive behavior, communication issues and social problems. It’s also frequently associated with more traditional medical problems that require more traditional forms of treatment. I realize that’s not a clear definition of the problem but this condition is different in every case. Autism is something that varies from one individual to the next. 

The most recent statistics show there’s a prevalence of 1 in 68 births and that includes 1 in 42 for boys. Although why it’s on the rise is uncertain at this time, we know that it is rising. That’s really alarming when you stop to think about it. Reversing that trend is very important because sometimes we tend to think of problems like this as only affecting the person. We don’t realize the toll autism takes on family members, loved ones and the community at large.

Most sufferers of autism benefit from education and treatment, but those things aren’t cheap. We need to do everything in our power to help increase awareness of the problem and to raise money for those who can’t afford treatment. And, we need money to help improve those treatments as well as develop new and better ones. We also need research funds to help find the cause(s). Research isn’t cheap. 

The anglers who fish the Elites are doing their part. This year they’ll be competing for the second annual Autism Angler of April award. It includes fishing tournament performance, social media postings and money raised. By the time you read this there’ll be a public press release that details everything. You can read the full text of that release at missilebaits.com.  

I’m encouraging everyone to read it and to support their favorite angler and our cause. We’ll have awareness bracelets on sale at two Elite events as well as on my website, missilebaits.com. They’ll also be available on Eli Delany’s — a serious autism activist — website, mylittlebuddy.com. Every penny of the money raised from the sale of those bracelets will be donated to autism charities. 

Sometimes we get so wrapped-up in our own “problems” that we forget how fortunate we are to have what we have. Somebody scrapes the fender of our car, we don’t catch enough fish or maybe we didn’t get the raise or promotion at work we think we deserve. These are minor problems compared to what we’re talking about today. 

We can make a difference in what we are doing. It’s incumbent on all of us to do what we can to help for one simple reason — it’s the right thing to do.

Originally posted on Bassmaster Go to Source
Author: John Crews

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