MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – The conversation around autism has grown each year since Autism Awareness Month first began, in April 1972. Studied more now than it ever has been, the science-based evidence has created many resources and tools to assist with those who are diagnosed with autism.
For Pathways out of Marquette, the first center in the area to open for individuals with the diagnosis of autism, they have seen so many positive changes according to Denise Clark, Pathway’s Behavioral Psychology Services Manager. Thinking back to how much she has seen it changed, Clark told us, When I was growing up, we never had the diagnosis of autism, so there might have been someone who was withdrawn or we would go something different, but we didn’t have a diagnosis and information or education.”
At Pathways, their board-certified staff provides assistance for individuals diagnosed with autism and their family who supports them. Proud to be part of it all at Pathways, Clark said, “We are unique in the way that we are community mental health and we have been supporting individuals with this diagnosis for a very, very long time.”
Clark said the stigma that once surrounded autism has gone away with all the information and education available making people more self-aware and not ashamed to talk about it. Those diagnosed or those that support them.
Recently seeing a social media post Clark told us, “Someone will go and do a tic toc video now and say, hey I have been struggling with this my whole life and guess what I just learned about myself, and I can attribute that to this and now I can start working with that and I think the understanding that people have about themselves, and go, ahh.”
Self-awareness, just like community, according to Clark, can happen at any age and time and why they celebrate Autism Awareness Month Every Month.
For more information on the programs and services available at Pathways, please visit, here.