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What Is Autism?


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Autism is a developmental disability that generally appears between the ages of 15 and 20 months of age. In most cases, the child is progressing normally, and then begins to regress, losing speech, social skills and physical abilities. While there are varying degrees of severity, most children completely withdraw into a world of their own.

Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive function. Individuals with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.

Worldwide Autism Population...
One Of Them Is Mine.

Autistic children often have a host of biomedical and neurological problems which may include: allergies, asthma, epilepsy, digestive disorders, persistent viral infections, feeding disorders, sensory integration disorder, sleeping disorders, mental retardation, and more.

A frightening aspect of the disorder is that children cannot assess sensory input properly. Autistic children cannot perceive fear or dangerous situations, nor can they filter and ignore stimuli. This sensory overload would be equivalent to your being intensely aware of the feel and color of this paper, the sensation of each article of clothing you are wearing, every single sound coming from the street and inside the building around you, and the fluorescent lights and every object that reflects the light near you. If a child with autism could read this letter, they would have to endure all this and more while trying to concentrate and comprehend this material. Normal functioning under this kind of sensory bombardment is nearly impossible.

Autism is diagnosed four times more often in boys than girls. Its prevalence is not affected by race, region, or socio-economic status. The incidence of autism is increasing at an alarming rate. Only 10 years ago, it was estimated that autism affected one out of 10,000 children. Two years ago, it was estimated that autism affected one out of 250 children. In January of 2004, the CDC, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, estimated that one in 166 children are currently being diagnosed with autism.

Children do not outgrow autism. There is no cure. It is a lifelong disability with a normal life expectancy. It affects boys four times more than it affects girls, although girls are generally more severely affected.

In the United States over 1.7 million individuals live with autism, making it more prevalent than Down Syndrome, childhood diabetes, and childhood cancer combined.


Autism Awareness Ribbon

Autism Ribbon

The PUZZLE PATTERN of the ribbon represents the mystery and complexity of autism.

The DIFFERENT COLORS AND SHAPES represent the diversity of the people and families living with this disorder.

The BRIGHTNESS of the ribbon signals the hope through research and in the increasing awareness of people like you.


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