........................................AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH!
Fellow LJ’s…..take a break from making sawdust, and take a look at something serious, and very near and dear to my heart for just a moment.
As the mother of a son with Autism, I feel it’s partially my job to do what I can to bring peoples attention to this, and help raise awareness…..even if this post only gets 1 reader!
My son Connor is a happy, funny, smart, kind, loving, 7 year old little boy…..........who happens to have 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. The prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 110 births in the United States and almost 1 in 70 boys. 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
Luckily with my son, we recognized the signs early, and took him to the doctor who then directed us to our local regional center. After days and hours of specialized testing that was both physically and mentally draining on him, that often concluded with him (as well as myself sometimes) in tears....he was finally given the official diagnosis of Autism. It's been a long road to get to the point that we're at now, but I can *VERY HAPPILY* report that Connor is doing fantastic! He;s come leaps and bounds from where he was just a couple of years ago. Infact, this school year he was taken out of the Special Education program, and is now a mainstream, happy, thriving 1st grader. : )
While he will probably always need to work just a little bit harder then his classmates to keep up, he knows that just because he has Autism doesn't mean that he can't do something. I'm so proud of him, and feel very lucky to be his mommy!
If you know and children in your life that display and of the traits listed above, please take action right away. The earlier the child is tested and diagnosed, the more you GREATLY improve the quality of their life by getting the tools needed to ensure their success.
If you've gotten this far, then I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read this!
NOW BACK TO MAKING SAWDUST!!! ; )
-- Heidi :) “The only source of knowledge is experience”