Why Autism?

As a mother of two children, 10 & 13, I feel so very blessed that they both have grown up happy, healthy, strong and affectionate.  As I look around my world, I see other mothers, some my very close friends, with heartbreaking challenges they never dreamed of.  Having begun the parenting journey with the same hopes and dreams for their children as I, they now struggle with the fact that one day, almost overnight in some cases, their children are different.  Their behaviors shifted from socially communicative to exhibiting delayed speech, awkward mannerisms and lack of interest in others and no eye contact even with their own mother.

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These parents must not only deal with the issues around raising a child they don’t always understand, they must also be an advocate for their child and deal with the prejudices & ignorance of others.  A general lack of understanding of this complex disorder causes some people to discriminate and often unintentionally be hurtful with their words & reactions.

A parent asks oneself, “Did I do something wrong?”  “Was it medication, vaccines, diet?” “Is it hereditary?”  All valid questions with, so far, no real answers.  This condition requires more research to determine the causes of autism and hopefully a way to prevent it all together.  That is why we choose to champion behind the cause of Autism Research.  We intend to raise money to help the children & parents of autism, and search for a cure to the condition.  Please help us with this worthy cause.  The funds we raise will go to the Autism Treatment Network through Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation.

Sincerely, Brenda Ridgley CV Half Marathon Race Director Making Strides to Prevent Autism

Please read this letter of support from Dr. Ann Reynolds of Children’s Hospital.

 

From the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke:

What is autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.  Autistic disorder, sometimes called autism or classical ASD, is the most severe form of ASD, while other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form known as Asperger syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS).  Although ASD varies significantly in character and severity, it occurs in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affects every age group.  Experts estimate that 1 out of 88 children age 8 will have an ASD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, March 30, 2012).  Males are four times more likely to have an ASD than females

 

Know the Signs: Early Identification Can Change Lives

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

More on Autism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism