Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Autism Awareness Month

As many of you know, I am super duper passionate about Autism and working with the amazing children who live with it everyday. April is Autism Awareness Month! (And tomorrow is World Autism Awareness Day.) In honor of that, here is my little part to help raise more awareness!

What is Autism?

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. Autism is a spectrum disorder and it affects each individual differently and at varying degrees.

Did you know...

*1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism
*1 in 94 boys is on the autism spectrum
*67 children are diagnosed per day
*A new case is diagnosed almost every 20 minutes
*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

Incidence vs. Private Funding

*Leukemia: Affects 1 in 25,000 / Funding: $310 million
*Muscular Dystrophy: Affects 1 in 20,000 / Funding: $175 million
*Pediatric AIDS: Affects 1 in 8,000 / Funding: $394 million
*Juvenile Diabetes: Affects 1 in 500 / Funding: $130 million
*Autism: Affects 1 in 150 / Funding: $42 million

People on the Autism Spectrum May:

*Not understand what you say
*Appear deaf
*Be unable to speak or speak with difficulty
*Engage in repetitive behaviors
*Act upset for no apparent reason
*Appear insensitive to pain
*Appear anxious or nervous
*Dart away from you unexpectedly
*Engage in self-stimulating behaviors (i.e. Hand flapping or rocking)

(Information from and the Autism Society of America)

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