Just days before the start of National Autism Awareness Month, a new parental survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 1 in 50 school-age children had a diagnosed autism spectrum disorder. The startling figure tells us a lot, but it doesn't even begin to tell us how autism truly affects the lives of so many families today.
The editors at Parenting.com wanted to tell some of those stories with "I Am 1 In 50," a special feature spotlighting 50 families dealing with autism.
"Autism is too often a story told through statistics, studies, and figures," Shawn Bean, executive editor of Parenting, wrote to HuffPost in an email. "It's rarely a story told by people. We wanted to change that. To families affected by ASD, autism is not a number. It's a son, daughter or sibling. It's a kid with an intense love of the Weather Channel. It's a mom who gets her first real hug when her son is 5 years old. It's a dad who watches his son sleep because it's one of the few times he sees him at peace. 'I Am 1 In 50' is an opportunity to share those stories."
The following is a selection of photos and quotes from the collection. Be sure to click over to Parenting.com for more.