Did you know …
Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys
Autism prevalence figures are growing
Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the U.S.
Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
There is no medical detection or cure for autism
It is true, people who are not touched by someone with Autism don’t understand. Fortunately, today is the beginning of Autism Awareness Month. I, along with many other people, will be filling you in on Autism. If you didn’t read my About Me page, or seen my Facebook page recently, I have a son who was officially diagnosed with ASD in first grade. What is ASD? According to Autism Speaks, “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. With the May 2013 publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual, all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD. Previously, they were recognized as distinct subtypes, including autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.
ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.
Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age.”
I knew something was different with my son when he was about 3 or 4. Nursery school (pre-school) even noticed a difference. It took me 3-4 years to finally get my suspicions confirmed. You would never think anyone would be so happy to know their son had Autism, but I was. With that diagnosis, I knew now he would have access to many different classes and services within the school district. I always had the thought that the diagnosis isn’t the end, but the beginning for him.
Today he is a thriving 14 year old about to graduate middle school. He is in a 15:1 class (15 Students to one teacher) and has a 3:1 (1 aid to 3 children) aid. Having a child with ASD you learn a whole new lingo. I will not bore you with a vocabulary lesson, but I will clarify where I can. Nick’s class is the exact same class a “typical” child would go to. Same curriculum., however, modifications are made so that the kids learn to the best of their ability. I mean, Nick has never really done a full report like I did in school. They are too busy learning what is really important. Math (especially the evil common core crap) is hard. It takes some kids longer to learn than others. These classes are designed for that. But like I said they learn everything their peers do.
My son is in band, chorus and is on the school track teams. There is nothing my son can’t do that others can’t. Not every child of Autism has the same abilities. All I tell my son is that there is nothing he can’t do if he puts his mind to it. Like the graphic says, one description of a child with Autism is the same. They are unique. What works for one, may not for another. Many children with Autism have melt downs. Trust me, when you see it you will know it. Some are full out, some more subtle. I have one request though. If you see a child in full melt down in the middle of the store, trust me when I say the parent who is there knows what they are doing. Don’t add your two cents unless asked.
Have you noticed that my usual pink/purple font is absent from this post? That is because I am going blue for Autism.
Every April 2, Autism Speaks celebrates World Autism Awareness Day with a global autism awareness campaign called Light It Up Blue (#LIUB).
How to LIUB
In honor of people with autism worldwide, iconic landmarks, hotels, sporting venues, concert halls, museums, schools, universities, bridges, retail stores, and thousands of homes will light blue beginning on April 2!
Light Homes, Businesses, Schools, and Landmarks Blue
- Cover existing fixtures with blue gel filters
- Project the Autism Speaks puzzle piece or Light It Up Blue logo on walls or buildings
- Ask family, friends, coworkers, and staff to wear blue (ties, scarfs, shirts, etc.)
- Supply Autism Speaks lapel pins, bracelets, or other blue accessories to wear during the month of April.
- Personalize your LIUB Selfie Sign to tell us where you Light It Up Blue
- Post your photos on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, or Flickr with the hashtag #LIUB to be a part of the global autism awareness movement!
- Turn your website blue with our Site It Up Blue kit or add the Light It Up Blue logo with a link to autismspeaks.org/liub
- Turn your Facebook or Twitter profile picture blue
- Tweet autism facts with the hashtag #LIUB
Raise Awareness with Blue
- Distribute information about autism, World Autism Awareness Day, and Light It Up Blue in your establishment, neighborhood, or company.
- Invite a local Autism Speaks representative to speak to your staff, school, or town about autism and the Light It Up Blue campaign.
- Reach out to local media to let the community know about your great work for the autism community and your support of autism.
Dear fellow authors, bloggers and interested parties,
Come join a group of romance writers, parents, other interested parties who want to help raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders. We hope to share information about groups, support services and extend a hand to those families dealing with ASD. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)… Romance Authors Unite: Bringing awareness out of the prehistoric times.
Want to help with the planning? Sign up for a takeover slot? Join this group, ~ Romance Authors Unite for ASD Awareness…
Beginning on April 2 we will begin sharing public service type posts. The event page will share at least one post per day throughout the month of April. The event will culminate with a big author-takeover event on May 2nd!
A month long push to raise awareness, and to help those families/caregivers affected by ASD locate
resources and information which will end with a FUN PG-13 party!