Friday, April 4, 2008

Autism Awareness Month

April is National Autism Awareness Month! I have been working with individuals on the autism spectrum (in one way or another) since I was 12 years old. Autism awareness is a cause near and dear to my heart.

Here are some facts about autism:

**1 in 166 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder everyday

**Autism is the second most common developmental disability, following mental retardation

**It is four times more common in boys than girls

**Autism impairs a person's ability to understand, interact, and communicate with others

Here are some characteristics of individuals with autism:

**Have trouble relating to others or have no interest in doing so

**Avoid eye contact

**Prefer to be alone

**Appear to be unaware of when other people talk to them but responds to other sounds

**Have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or emotions

**Laugh, cry, or show distress for no apparent reason

**Prefer not to be held or cuddled (or only when they want to)

For a look into what life with autism can be like, view this video (approx. 7 minutes)

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This is God's promise for ALL his children!!