My daughter is wearing blue to raise Autism Awareness as part of Light It Up Blue, which is each year on April 2nd.
Currently she is diagnosed with Pervasive Develpmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). In 2013, the new DSM-V will be released. PDD-NOS will no longer be included, the definition of Autism will be changed, and she will be considered Autistic.
People with Autism precieve the world differently, and in turn, experience the world differently.
It is estimated that 70% of people diagnosed with Autism suffer from comorbidity (more than just one disorder). Which means they face more than just Autism each day. (www.gel.bbk.ac.uk/index.php?page=comorbidity-in-autism)
40% of people with Autism will remain non-verbal. This does not mean they cannot say words, but they are unable to use verbal language as their primary form of communication. AAC devices (Augmentative Alternative Communication) are very helpful for those who are non-verbal to express their needs, desires and thoughts. (www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html)
Yes we’re wearing blue eye-shadow. While looking at someone when they talk is usually considered polite, for many with Autism, it is multi-tasking. Many have poor eye contact. It isn’t that they are not listening, but that they are listening. Concentrating on what they see and hear at the same time can be quite distracting, so by not looking at you they are better focused on what you are saying.
Like any other disability, Autism affects every member of the family, re-defining family life.
Siblings offer something special to their Autistic siblings, teaching them in a way no one else can.
There are great benefits to therapeutic animal services, from service dogs to equine therapies. While the therapies nor service dogs are covered by insurance, they are tax deductible and Autism Service Dogs are covered in the American’s with Disabilties Act. (www.autismservicedogsofamerica.com)
Information about Autism is rapidly evolving due to large amounts of ongoing research. What is true today may not be tomorrow. If you’d like to learn more please visit www.cdc.gov/autism or www.health.nih.gov/topic/Autism