April is Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month. The goal of the month is to increase global understanding and acceptance of people with autism.

In 2018 the CDC determined that approximately 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They found that 1 in 37 boys and 1 in 151 girls were on the autism spectrum. Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and minority groups tend to be diagnosed later and less often.

Medline Plus has more information about autism and the National Institute of Mental Health lists signs and symptoms.

Here are a few nonfiction books to learn more about autism:
Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Austim by Peter Hotez. Dr. Hotez’s daughter was diagnosed with autism. Dr. Hotez, a pediatrician-scientist who develops vaccines for neglected tropical diseases that affect the world’s poorest people, became troubled by the decades-long rise of the influential anti-vaccine community and their discourse around childhood vaccines and autism. He explains the science that denies the concerns of the anti-vaccine movement, debunks current conspiracy theories, and critiques the scientific community’s failure to effectively communicate the facts about vaccines and autism to the general public.

Autism in Heels by Jennifer Cook O’Toole. Jennifer was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 35, and for the first time in her life, things made sense. In this memoir Jennifer brings to light the constant struggle between a carefully crafted persona and an “authentic existence, editing the autism script with wit, candor, passion, and power.”

The Warner Boys by Ana Warner. “Seahawks star running back Curt Warner and his wife, Ana, were prominent figures in Seattle in the early 1990s. When they dropped from the public eye after Curt’s retirement, everyone assumed it was for a simpler life. But the reality behind their seclusion was a secret they hid from even their closest friends: their twins had been diagnosed with severe autism. What followed was a painful struggle to hold their family and their marriage together in a home filled with chaos, emotional exhaustion, and constant fear for the safety of their unpredictable but beloved boys.”

October is Health Literacy Month

October is health literacy month. Health Literacy is the ability to read, understand, and act upon health information.  According to the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, nearly 9 out of 10 adults have difficulty using routine health information. A large gap exists between the way health care issues are delivered and the ability of most people to understand them.

When you are looking for health information online, MedlinePlus.gov and Magill’s Medical Guide Online are great resources. MedlinePlus.gov is a government website that has health information on every medical topic in easy-to-read format. It’s available in multiple languages, there are also videos, encyclopedias, and drug information.

Magill’s Medical Guide Online is available through JMRL databases, you’ll need to login with your library card number to access it. There’s general health information, including causes and symptoms, and treatments and therapies. You can also print or save articles with Magill’s.

JMRL also has a list of local health resources which includes mental health services and local clinics.

Check out these titles about health and wellness:


Complete Guide to Fitness and Health, edited by Barbara Bushman, PhD.
American College of Sports Medicine’s Complete Guide to Fitness & Health merges research-based, scientific information with practical and adaptable plans that you can use. The book provides the reader with simple ways to assess themselves, and then, using insights gained, enhance their exercise programs and make optimal nutrition decisions that fit with their personal goals.

Mayo Clinic A to Z Health Guide, edited by Scott C. Litin, MD.
This is a home reference for the most common conditions.

Know-It-All Medicine, edited by Dr. Gabrielle M. Finn
Fifty crucial milestones, treatments, and technologies in the history of health, each explained in a minute. It takes the reader on an engrossing journey from the first “medicines” to today’s keyhole surgery, bionic limbs, and breakthrough drug treatments. It’s an essential and engaging read for anyone who wants to know more about the contemporary state of medicine, and what the future may hold for medicine and its practitioners.