According to 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.” 1 in every 59 children is now diagnosed with Autism. Autism is 4 times more prevalent in boys than it is in girls. The odds of our family having 3 girls and a boy all on the spectrum, is like winning the lottery….a very heart breaking, life altering lottery. According to the Center for Disease Control, “parents who have a child with ASD have a 2%–18% chance of having a second child who is also affected.” That statistic is too low for our family since we are at 100%. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined. With Autism on a scary rise, soon everyone will know someone affected by Autism. Although there are many theories, the cause of Autism is unknown. Children with Autism have heightened senses, which means that things that we may not even notice can not only bother them, but sometimes also hurt them….the buzzing and flashing that lights make, the small undetected noises, rumble of the crowd, etc. Because children with Autism look like everyone else with few or no visible characteristics, many of these children are teased, shunned, and pushed further into their own lonely world by outsiders that do not understand or accept their differences. With greater understanding, acceptance, patience, and love, ALL children, no matter what their differences or difficulties, can learn, grow, and thrive!
“Different. Not less.” –Temple Grandin