Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Thursday Thirteen 101: Autism Awareness

* April is Autism Awareness Month, and April 2 World Autism Awareness Day. Though my own family has not been touched by autism, I have many friends whose children have been diagnosed with it.

* Today, Alpha Xi Delta is proud to announce a new philanthropic focus and partnership with Autism Speaks.

* Autism Speaks is the most prominent Autism awareness organization in the United States. They are dedicated to raising awareness of and funding research into the causes of autism.

* Autism or Autistic Syndrome Disorder is a development disorder that affects the way a person communicates with and relates to people around him. It is usually first noticed when a child reaches the age of three and is basically identified by three areas of difficulty for the autistic person: Social relationships and communications, imagination and planning, and repetitive behaviors.

* Some people with autism may never learn to talk, and may engage in repetitive movements. They have a reduced sensitivity to pain but are abnormally sensitive to sound, touch, and other sensory stimulation.

* The cause of autism is not known and last throughout a person’s lifetime. Recent studies suggest that some people have a genetic predisposition to autism. Researchers are looking for clues about genes that contribute to this increased susceptibility. Evidence also suggests that some emotional disorders such as manic depression occur more frequently than average in the families of people with autism. There is no cure for autism but treatment can help, which may include behavior and communication therapies and medicines to control symptoms. Some also believe that environmental factors (e.g. exposure to certain chemicals) may also be contributing factors.

* Autism affects 1 in 150 children, 1 in 94 boys today, compared to only 1 in 10,000 just thirteen years ago.

* Autism affects all ethnic, racial and social groups, but affects boys four times more than it does girls.

* Autism affects 1.5 million in the US alone, and tens of millions worldwide.

* Three children are diagnosed with some form of Autism every hour—that’s 24,000 each year.

* More children will be diagnosed this year with Autism than AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined.

* Despite its rapid growth, Autism receives a mere three-tenths of one percent of NIH funding. To give you an idea of how under funded research is, Leukemia affects 1 in 25,000 and receives $310 million in funding; MD affects 1 in 20,000 and receives $175 million in funding; and juvenile diabetes affects 1 in 500 and receives $130 million. Autism affects 1 in 150 and receives only $15 million in funding.

* In 2007, Gina K Designs introduced the “Love You to Pieces” stamp set. $8.00 of every set sold goes directly to Autism Speaks. Benefit your hobby and a worthwhile charity at the same time!

(Please leave your link if this is your first visit!)

Clara * Adelle Laudan * Stephanie Adkins * Chris
Alice Audrey * Hootin' Anni * Marcia * Lanie Fuller
Janice Seagraves * Tempest Knight/Cassandra
RJ LeBeau * Shelley Munro * Maggie Nash * Ms Menozzi
Inez Kelley * Barbara * Angeleque Ford * Paige Tyler
Gattina * Jamie Babette * Lauren Murphey
Jennifer McKenzie * Mel * Storyteller * Kandyblossom
Lovesmukiwa * Pamela

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things.


Alice Audrey said...

I'm wondering if my dd might have a touch of autism in the social sense. She has a very different way of looking at the world.

Hootin' Anni said...

Excellent, and you've posted something everyone should know and understand more thoroughly.

My 13 is all about 'icky' foods. Won't you join me for a bite?!!!

marcia@joyismygoal said...

Thanks it has certainly touched my life

Heather said...

Alice - Since it presents differently, from mild to severe, it is entirely possible. Might be worth looking into, yes?

Anni - Thank you! I will definitely be stopping by your blog later!

Marcia - Thanks, I'm happy to get the word out!

Chris said...

wonderful list... thanks for sharing about autism... it gave me an insight about it.

Lanie Fuller said...

Very informative list. I'm not aware of anyone in my family having this, I know of people with children that do.

And every person who reads this will add another more informed person about it, so well done!

Heather said...

Thanks, Chris - glad to offer insight!

Lanie - Thank you, it's definitely a subject that needs more awareness.

Shelley Munro said...

I'll admit I don't know much about autism. 1.5 sufferers in the US is mind-boggling. I wonder why it is becoming more common.

Maggie Nash said...

Thanks for posting it Heather...I certainly am touched by it as you know. Son #s 3 & 4 are certainly giving me a tough time of it lately too. I'll repost it on my blog...even though I am in Oz :-)


Ms Menozzi said...

Very informative and important post.

Thanks for sharing this information - I know many folks who could benefit from this.

Cassandra said...

This is an amazing and wonderfully informative Thursday 13. Bless you for spreading the word. ((hugs))

Our T13 is at:

Adelle Laudan said...

The funding statistics is just sad. Thanks for opening my eyes, I never knew much of this.
Happy T13!

Stephanie Adkins said...

Thank you for the information. I know several families affected by this. *Hugs* Happy Thursday.

Inez Kelley said...

Very informative blog post. I deal with a lot of these things since I mod a special needs forum for tin parents.

Barbara said...

My son doesn't have Autism but he has a disorder that is almost identical to Aspergers called Nonverbal Learning Disorder.
Great post! It's so good to make people aware.

jenn said...

I have a cousin who is autistic, and he is the most loving person I have ever met.

Angeleque said...

Excellent and informative post.Thanks for sharing this information. I have a few friends who have autistic kids.

Paige Tyler said...

Great TT! When I did was a teacher I had a student who had autism. Great kid!


My TT is at

Gattina said...

Very interesting to know a little more about this.

On a limb with Claudia said...

Gosh, that's fascinating! Thanks for sharing all of this! I have a couple friends with autistic kids - I've so much to learn.

Heather said...

Shelley - The numbers are indeed mind-boggling. The significant rise in diagnoses is why organizations like Autism Speaks are pushing for increased awareness and funding for research. If you know what causes a disease, you have a greater chance of preventing it.

Maggie - You're welcome! I knew you would appreciate it. Sorry to hear the boys are stressing you out. Feel free to repost--it is, afterall, WORLD Autism Awareness Day. (((HUGS))) ;)

Ms Menozzi - Thank you, I hope it will indeed benefit many.

Cassandra - Thanks, CC!

Adelle - The lack of funding is indeed sad. Hopefully we will see a significant change in that!

Heather said...

Stephanie - Most welcome. Like you, I know others who are affected by it, even though my own family has not been touched.

Inez - Thank you. I'm sure many are appreciative of the work you do on the forum you mod.

Barbara - Thank you, and many hugs to you and your son!

Jenn - Big hugs to you and your cousin. Thanks for stopping by!

Heather said...

Paige - Thanks! You student with autism must have been both a challenging an rewarding expeience for you. (((hugs)))

Thanks Gattina, and thanks for stopping by!

Claudia - Thank you. Though I know a number of writers with autistic children, I did not know a lot of the statistics myself until I received info from my sorority in preparation for today's announced philanthropy refocus and partnership.

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Thanks for this, Heather. I'd have to go find it, but there was a video I put up at Divas that donated money everytime you watched it.
Wow! I went back and looked. It was from Feb of last year!
I'm going to bump it.

Heather said...

Hi Jennifer! Sadly, I must have missed that video last year. I'll have to see if I can get the computer to cooperate long enough to watch it. (It's been erring a lot lately when I try to watch video...very annoying!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this information. I've also had students with Aspergers and, yes, they are challenging and rewarding.

storyteller said...

Informative post about an important topic. Thanks for sharing.
Hugs and blessings,

Anonymous said...

It's an outrage there isn't more money spent on research on this, especially since the number of people affected by autism is reaching epidemic proportions.

kandyblossom said...

Thank you for such an informative post. Like you, my family hasn't been touched by autism but so many of my friends' lives have been.

Happy TT!

lovesmukiwa said...

We are foster parents (working on adopting) our little guy who we picked up from the hospital when he was one month old. He is now 2.5 and he has SOOO many signs of Autism it is ridiculous and trying to get a doctor to do anything, get us help etc. is FRUSTRATING.
Thanks for bringing to light a very serious issue which needs more attention!

Pamela said...

Thank you so much for posting this, Heather. My son has Aspergers Syndrome. He was diagnosed at 4 1/2 and is now 18.

I've seen a change over the last five or so years in that Autism is being talked about more but there's so much more to do. Thank you for moving the message forward. :)

Heather said...

Jamie and Storyteller - Happy to share the info and help educate the masses. Thanks for stopping by!

RJ - Outrageous indeed! And I didn't even mention the insurance companies that refuse to pay for treatment.

KandyBlossom - You know what's interesting, too, is that most of the people I know with autistic children are creative types. Something to think on, no?

Lovesmukiwa - (((Hugs))) to you and your son. I hope you get the help you need for your son. Early diagnosis and treatment is soooo important!

Pamela - Yes, it is starting to be talked about more, but as you said--many miles to go as far as awareness, treatment and research. (((Hugs))) to you and your son!

Janice said...

Great list.

Sorry I'm so late posting on TT, but I had an awful day yesterday.


Melissa said...

Great list.

Yes, I am from Beta Psi. Where are you from?

Heather said...

Janice - No problem, hon. I hope today was a much better day!

Melissa - Thanks. I am also a Beta Psi alum, though I've not been back to Carroll in some time. I'm still in touch with a lot of the sisters from my "era," but it's always nice to connect with another sister!