So what is autism. As defined by Autism Speaks "Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art. Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age."
Let me offer you another definition written from the daily life of a wonderful mother of three beautiful children, one of whom has autism. This is written by my friend and neighbor Rosezella. Her oldest daughter Vicki has autism. For the month of April last year and this year, she has blogged everyday of how autism is affecting her child, herself, and her family. This is what autism really is - it's ups and downs - celebrations and devastation. I warn you, this story will tug at your heartstrings! Here is her story.
The organization, Autism Speaks continues to fund research on effective methods for earlier diagnosis, as early intervention with proven behavioral therapies can improve outcomes. This disorder is growing rapidly and more research is needed. For the month of April, 10% of all my sales will go to Autism Speaks to help fund this research and further help those children and families with early diagnosis, intervention and coping. I encourage you to visit the Autism Speaks site as there are many ways to give.