Saturday, April 18th
We tried to pack three events into one day and did a pretty good job of it. Starting out our morning with a drive to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena so that we could participate in a 5K walk to support Autism Speaks. We had been invited to join our friend Samantha and her family on Team T-Rex.
Did you know: Getting pregnant again quickly after having one child has been linked to autism. One study published in the journal of Pediatrics found that second-born children conceived within 12 months of a child were three times more likely to be diagnosed with autism, although no one knows why. The farther apart pregnancies were spaced, the lower the risk.
Here are a few more staggering facts:
About 1 percent of the world population has autism spectrum disorder. (CDC, 2014)
Prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 68 births. (CDC, 2014)
More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. (Buescher et al., 2014)
Prevalence of autism in U.S. children increased by 119.4 percent from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68). (CDC, 2014) Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability. (CDC, 2008)
So, what is Autism and how is it diagnosed?
There are three major areas that are used to determine if someone has Autism. They fall under the categories of social interaction, language skills and repetitive behaviors.
If you click here, you can watch several short videos presented by Healthination that have an easy to understand explanation of what it is and how it is diagnosed, as well as other helpful information.
There are many faces of Autism and it is often mis-diagnosed or co-diagnosed with other conditions:
“At first glance, some people with autism may appear to have an intellectual disability, sensory processing issues, or problems with hearing or vision. To complicate matters further, these conditions can co-occur with autism. However, it is important to distinguish autism from other conditions, as an accurate and early autism diagnosis can provide the basis for an appropriate educational and treatment program.
Other medical conditions or syndromes, such as sensory processing disorder, can present symptoms that are confusingly similar to autism’s. This is known as differential diagnosis.” – Autism Society
If you know someone who is exhibiting possible signs of Autism or other syndrome, early diagnosis is important.
It can be an overwhelming diagnosis. Where do you go to get help?
There are many online links that can help you get started in understanding what help is available, what services you and your child may be entitled to, as well as community support. Here is one place to start. It is a resource guide provided by Autism Speaks. You get started with a map where you select the state you reside in. A list will then provide you with options for adults, diagnosis, legal aid, rehabilitation, advocacy, early intervention, health care, and so much more.
Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful for our good friends who joined us on the walk, and for the many others who made donations and offered up words of encouragement. Autism has touched so many families throughout the world. We continue to hope for improvements in finding the cause as well as for breakthroughs in treatment for early detection.
Questions: Have you ever participated in a 5K (or any length) walk or race to support a cause? What was your experience like? Would you do it again if asked?
Stay tuned for part 2 and part 3 of our day which included Pasadena City Hall and Descanso Gardens…
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What a great cause and a very good way to raise awareness and funds!
Every little bit helps!
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Very interesting! I go to a parent-carers group and the vast majority of parents there care for children on the spectrum. So very challenging… I would say that in Britain there is still a high level of ignorance, which can be so painful for families who already have a lot to contend with. However, things are changing. Well done for supporting such a worthwhile charity.
Christine, I think you are right that we, as a society, still have a lot to learn about autism as well as other disorders including mental illness. We have come a long way, but there is still much to be improved upon.