April is Autism Awareness Month – Today is World Autism Day

 

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month.  Each year, activities are planned at Children’s Village to educate our community about autism.

Autism, part of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD), is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person’s lifetime.

  • Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
  • The disorder is characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills and social abilities, and also by repetitive behaviors. Symptoms range from mild to severe. One milder form of the disorder is known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Other developmental disorders that fall under the Autism Spectrum Disorders are Rett Syndrome, PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified), and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.
  • Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviors in their child or their child’s failure to reach appropriate developmental milestones. Some parents describe a child that seemed different from birth, while others describe a child who was developing normally and then lost skills. If you have concerns about your child’s development, don’t wait: speak to your family health care provider about getting your child screened for autism.

 

Nationally…

  • Autism cases are on the rise.  Results from a new study conducted by the CDC found schoolchildren between the ages of 6 to 17 with some form of autism being diagnosed at a record rate of 1 in 50.
  • The study attributes the growth to better detection, not environmental threats.
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • Autism costs the nation over $137 billion per year.
  • Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases.
    • The cause of autism remains a mystery.  There is no blood or biologic test for it.  Genetics is believed to play a role.
    • CDC investigators are studying the causes… such as illnesses moms might have while pregnant whose children late developed autism.  They are also looking into medications pregnant women took and those given to their children when they were young.

 

Locally…

  • In Yakima, County, approximately 925 children are estimated to be on the autism spectrum.
  • More than 54 children were seen in diagnostic clinic in 2011.  Less than half of those received a diagnosis on the autism spectrum through this multidisciplinary team at Children’s Village in 2011.
  • We do not have enough effective services in Yakima. We are currently working on planning and development for a program dedicated to autism specialty services, however, all providers who work with children with autism will need to have knowledge about ASD to appropriately serve families that are affected by autism.
  • For Autism Awareness Month in 2013 we have several activities planned:
  • April 2, 3:00-5:00 pm-Get your blue hair extensions at Children’s Village in the Community Room.  Call Children’s Village at 574-3200 to schedule your five minute appointment.
  • April 18, 6:30-8:00 pm- “Views from My Shoes” panel presentation at Autism support group at Children’s Village.  Three student speakers who experience ASD will be talking about when they found out they have autism, how it’s affecting their life at home, school, friendships, difficulties they encounter and what they want everyone to know about autism.
  • April 21, 5:30-7:30 pm- Gymnastics Plus Family Night.  No charge and no registration necessary.
  • May 11, 9:00am-4:00pm CUT-A-THON at Elite Academy in the Nob Hill Plaza, 2606 W. Nob Hill Blvd.

This Cut-a-thon fundraiser includes: Haircuts, Pedicures, Manicures and Facials.  All proceeds go to support Autism Services at Children’s Village. Donation requested for each service provided.

 

For more information on autism services or the activities listed above, visit yakimachildrensvillage.org or call 574-3200.

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