Thursday, April 01, 2010

April is Autism Awareness Month

Thursday April 1, 2010
April is Autism Awareness Month
I am new to Autism activism, but I am going to try to make up a little for lost time.
For a fan like me, with baseball season coming up in a few days, it’s easy to forget what is really important.
To me, family is what is most important and my godson has Autism. He is a beautiful and smart boy of 9.  I don’t get to see him near enough, but I make sure my wife flies out to see him every few months.

But he is far from alone. 1 in 70 boys are on the Autism spectrum according to the CDC. 1 in 70! Think about that. 1 boy in every 3 classrooms across America. 
Its certainly not limited to boys either. 1 in every 110 children is effected by this disorder today. Boys, Girls, and Adults. Its not something you outgrow. Parents, Grandparents and other caregivers are caregivers for life.
It’s an epidemic, but parents and grandparents of children (and adults) with Autism are not looking for pity or even an immediate cure. Mostly they are just looking for understanding and acceptance. They are looking for Awareness.
My hope and prayer is that awareness will lead to more money for research and for the care of those afflicted.
The article below was borrowed from Biz of Baseball. I hope Maury doesn’t mind, its for the best of causes.
If any of the logos I have added to this post infringe on a trademark, I apologize. Please let me know so I can credit your organization and post an appropriate link.
The main point of the autism awareness campaign is for you to spread the word, and reach a better understanding of the developmental disorder.
Here is how the Autism Society of America describes autism:
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a "spectrum disorder" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause for autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.
Autism is treatable. Children do not "outgrow" autism, but studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes.
Here are some signs to look for in the children in your life:
  • Lack of or delay in spoken language
  • Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Lack of interest in peer relationships
  • Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
  • Persistent fixation on parts of objects
The following information is provided by Autism Speaks:
Did you know ...
  • Autism now affects 1 in 110 children and 1 in 70 boys
  • Autism prevalence figures are growing
  • More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • Autism costs the nation over $35 billion per year, a figure expected to significantly increase in the next decade
  • Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
  • Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism
Prevalence vs. Private Funding
  • Leukemia: Affects 1 in 1,200 / Funding: $277 million
  • Muscular Dystrophy: Affects 1 in 100,000 / Funding: $162 million
  • Pediatric AIDS: Affects 1 in 300 / Funding: $394 million
  • Juvenile Diabetes: Affects 1 in 500 / Funding: $156 million
  • Autism: Affects 1 in 110 / Funding: $79 million
National Institutes of Health Funds Allocation
  • Total 2009 NIH budget: $35.9 billion
  • Of this, only $196 million goes directly to autism research. This represents 0.5% of total NIH funding.
Visit these links and learn more about Autism!


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