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April is Autism Awareness Month - Information, Signatures, Avatars, Parades!!
On December 18, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution of the Third Committee designating April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day for eternity, starting in 2008. Autism Awareness Month is celebrated nationally every year in April, providing an opportunity for families, friends, and local communities to raise public awareness.
I would like to encourage all of our WI friends to show their support during the month of April by sporting Autism Awareness Avatars and/or Autism Awareness Signatures!! See Posts Four and Five for Avatars and Signatures as well as post six for some amazing sets by Geros9!
Are you thinking of adopting a new pet? Why not name your new pet Autism Awareness? Or how about dressing a pet you already have all in blue to show you support?
Would you like to join one of our Autism Awareness parades? Dress your pet up in blue and meet up with us for some fun! We will be parading through the park throughout April raising awareness! Please check the schedules and see suggestions of things you can shout out in Post 3.
SHOCKING FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AUTISM • Prevalence is estimated at 1 in 68births (CDC Prevalence findings*). • Prevalence has increased 78% over the previous five years.
• 1 in 54 boys are effected by Autism. 1 in 252 girls are effected by Autism.
• ASDs are reported to occur in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
• It is the fastest-growing developmental disability.
• Autism is more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and Downs Syndrome - combined.
• Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention.
Facts posted on Autism Society Website, Autism Speaks
* The report uses the same methodology that produced the CDC’s 2007 prevalence findings of 1 in 150 children with autism.
Autism Speaks Stated - These new findings reinforce that autism is an urgent and growing public health crisis that affects most individuals across their lifespan and demands a commensurate level of action from both the public and private sectors.
WHAT IS AUTISM Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). The other pervasive developmental disorders are PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified), Asperger’s Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Many parents and professionals refer to this group as Autism Spectrum Disorders.
WHAT ARE THE RED FLAGS OF AUTISM? (The following red flags may indicate a child is at risk for atypical development, and is in need of an immediate evaluation.)
In clinical terms, there are a few “absolute indicators,” often referred to as “red flags,” that indicate that a child should be evaluated. For a parent, these are the “red flags” that your child should be screened to ensure that he/she is on the right developmental path. If your baby shows any of these signs, please ask your pediatrician or family practitioner for an immediate evaluation:
• No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
• No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter
• No babbling by 12 months
• No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
• No words by 16 months
• No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
• Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age *This information is from First Signs, Inc.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SUSPECT SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH MY CHILD? Don’t wait! Talk to your doctor about getting your child screened for autism. New research shows that children as young as one may exhibit signs of autism, so recognizing early signs and knowing developmental milestones is important. Early intervention is key.
HOW CAN I HELP? • Stay abreast of the latest in autism-related news and issues.
• Reach out to your local Autism Society Chapter - they are always looking for volunteers.
• Attend an event - there is always something going on at either Autism Speaks or
the Autism Society.
• Take the time to reach out to a child with Autism, whether it is a hello or just a smile, it can make all the difference in a child with Autisms day. Just remember, their reaction may not be a typically expected reaction - but trust me, it made a difference!
• Show your support with the Autism Ribbon - on WI, on facebook - let’s see those ribbons!
The autism awareness ribbon puzzle piece pattern is said to symbolize the mystery and complexity of autism. The different colors and shapes represent the diversity of people and families living with this developmental disorder. The brightness of this awareness ribbon signals hope. Hope that through research we will soon identify the causes and a cure for autism. And hope that through increasing awareness of autism, persons with the disorder will lead fuller and more complete lives.
If you would like to join this effort to raise awareness you can buy a blue webkinz at our partner store Ameriwade! Throughout the year you are welcome to stop by our Special Needs Children and Webkinz thread for discussion amongst members who are touched by all kinds of special needs. Visit our Wiki to learn about Autism. Also in our Wiki you will find a Blue Pet Parade to help you pick that perfect blue pet.
Re: April is Autism Awareness Month - PLEASE DO NOT POST YET!
The way in which a person with an ASD interacts with another individual is quite different compared to how the rest of the population behaves. If the symptoms are not severe, the person with ASD may seem socially clumsy, sometimes offensive in his/her comments, or out of synch with everyone else. If the symptoms are more severe, the person may seem not to be interested in other people at all. Often someone with an ASD will make very little eye contact.
A person with autism may often miss the cues we give each other when we want to catch somebody’s attention. The person with ASD might not know that somebody is trying to talk to them. They may also be very interested in talking to a particular person or group of people, but does not have the same skills as others to become fully involved. To put it more simply, they lack the necessary playing and talking skills.
Empathy - Understanding and being aware of the feelings of others
A person with autism will find it much harder to understand the feelings of other people. His/her ability to instinctively empathize with others is much weaker than other people’s. However, if they are frequently reminded of this, the ability to take other people’s feelings into account improves tremendously. With frequent practice, empathy can be improved, and some of it becomes natural rather than intellectual. Even so, empathy never comes as naturally for a person with autism as it does to others.
Having a conversation with a person with autism may feel very much like a one-way trip. The person with ASD might give the impression that he is talking at people, rather than with or to them. The person with ASD may love a theme, and talk about it a lot. However, there will be much less exchanging of ideas, thoughts, and feelings than there might be in a conversation with a person who does not have autism.
A number of children with an ASD do not like cuddling or being touched like other children do. It is wrong to say that all children with autism are like that. Many will hug a relative - usually the mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, teacher, and or sibling(s) - and enjoy it greatly. Often it is a question of practice and anticipating that physical contact is going to happen. For example, if a child suddenly tickles another child’s feet, he will most likely giggle and become excited and happy. If that child were to tickle the feet of a child with autism, without that child anticipating the contact, the result might be completely different.
Loud noises, some smells, and lights
A person with autism usually finds sudden loud noises unpleasant and quite shocking. The same can happen with some smells and sudden changes in the intensity of lighting and ambient temperature. Many believe it is not so much the actual noise, smell or light, but rather the surprise, and not being able to prepare for it - similar to the response to surprising physical contact. If the person with autism knows something is going to happen, he can cope with it much better. Even knowing that something ‘might’ happen, and being reminded of it, helps a lot.
The higher the severity of the autism, the more affected are a person’s speaking skills. Many children with an ASD do not speak at all. People with autism will often repeat words or phrases they hear - an event called echolalia.
The speech of a person with ASD may sound much more formal and woody, compared to other people’s speech. Teenagers with Asperger’s Syndrome can sometimes sound like young professors. Their intonation may sound flat.
A person with autism likes predictability. Routine is his/her best friend. Going through the motions again and again is very much part of his/her life. To others, these repetitive behaviors may seem like bizarre rites. The repetitive behavior could be a simple hop-skip-jump from one end of the room to the other, repeated again and again for one, five, or ten minutes - or even longer. Another could be drawing the same picture again and again, page after page.
People without autism are much more adaptable to changes in procedure. A child without autism may be quite happy to first have a bath, then brush his teeth, and then put on his pajamas before going to bed - even though he usually brushes his teeth first. For a child with autism this change, bath first and then teeth, could completely put him/her out, and they may become very upset.
A child with autism develops differently
While a child without autism will develop in many areas at a relatively harmonious rate, this may not be the case for a child with autism. His/her cognitive skills may develop fast, while their social and language skills trail behind. On the other hand, his/her language skills may develop rapidly while their motor skills don’t. They may not be able to catch a ball as well as the other children, but could have a much larger vocabulary. Nonetheless, the social skills of a person with autism will not develop at the same pace as other people’s.
Learning may be unpredictable
How quickly a child with autism learns things can be unpredictable. They may learn something much faster than other children, such as how to read long words, only to forget them completely later on. They may learn how to do something the hard way before they learn how to do it the easy way.
Physical tics and stimming
It is not uncommon for people with autism to have tics. These are usually physical movements that can be jerky. Some tics can be quite complicated and can go on for a very long time. A number of people with autism are able to control when they happen, others are not. People with ASD who do have tics often say that they have to be expressed, otherwise the urge does not stop. For many, going through the tics is enjoyable, and they have a preferred spot where they do them - usually somewhere private and spacious. When parents first see these tics, especially the convoluted ones, they may experience shock and worry.
People with autism often have obsessions.
Myth about autism
Not all people with autism have an incredible gift or savantism for numbers or music. People with autism are ordinary people... with autism.
April is Autism Awareness Month - Information, Signatures, Avatars, Parades!
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Our 2013 parade schedule will be updated as the month goes along!! Everyone is welcome!!
Please see the images at the bottom to help you find the parade leader.
Wednesday, April 2nd - 7PM EST - WORLD AUTISM DAY Leader: Electrabuzz1 with Autism Awareness (Pucker Fish) Parade: 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM Light Blue Zone!!
Kinz Chat Plus, Kinzville Park - Room 25 - Meet by the stage !
Saturday, April 12th - 5PM EST Leader: Electrabuzz1 with Autism Awareness (Pucker Fish) Parade: 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM Light Blue Zone!!
Kinz Chat Plus, Kinzville Park - Room 25 - Meet by the stage !
Thursday, April 17th - 5PM EST Leader: Electrabuzz1 with Autism Awareness (Pucker Fish) Parade: 8:00 PM - 8:30 PM Light Blue Zone!!
Kinz Chat Plus, Kinzville Park - Room 25 - Meet by the stage !
The parades/gatherings will be 30 minutes long. We will all meet up in the assigned park for pictures and fun!! Look for the parade leader by the stage and shout out for Autism!! Be sure to watch this thread for updates during the parade times. You will need to be in Kinz Chat Plus to be able to shout out for awareness!!
Our Parade Leaders
Remember to dress your pet up in Blue!! If possible bring a blue pet!! Even better a blue pet, dressed in blue and named Autism Awareness!!
Aw this am aware nest! Light it up blue! help find the missing pieces! help find the missing pieces, won at a time! Put the pieces together! Solve the Puzzle! Be Aware for Aw this am! Aw this am aware month!
Be sure to take lots of pictures and post them here!! Watch this thread for updates such as where to go for pictures. Keep shouting out the Autism phrases!! And most importantly - have fun and know how much we appreciate you taking the time to help make a difference!!
Last edited by Electrabuzz1; 04-16-2014 at 05:34 PM.. Reason: updating
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