April, The Whole Month is Dedicated to Autism Awareness! Let's Review What We Know!
Autism Speaks for many people who are afflicted with this disorder. There are an estimated 1 in 68 children will fall somewhere under the Autism Spectrum according to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. "We" have become much better at recognizing the symptoms of Autism and because we are better at the recognition, the numbers seem to have jumped in the last few years.
The Symbol for Autism Awareness
|Autism Awareness often is Symbolized by a Multicolored Puzzle Piece.|
Autism does not Play by these Rules
|The Puzzle Piece Ribbon is also used for Autism Awareness|
Why is Autism such a puzzle?All people who have autism are not the same. People with autism are stereotyped as either: 1. having special abilities or 2. mentally challenged. There are a whole bunch that fall into neither of these categories. That is how varied Autism can be. Each diagnosis is unique to each child, with varying degrees of ability/disability.
We have seen the amazing abilities in some autistic individuals who can either draw or figure out complicated mathematical problems, to those who can play an instrument with ease and dexterity and at the same time, they have difficulty with eye contact, or speaking or simple tasks. That is how varied Autism can be. Check out the link below, and you will get just a little glimpse into a family with a child diagnosed with Autism. It truly is an amazing story.
What Autism Can Look Like.....
Autism is NOT a mental health disorder. Autism is a Neurological Disorder marked by abnormalities in the brain. Research is pointing to a disorder in the Genetic makeup of a person. It is in their DNA. Some research in Canada has pointed to a single protein that is lacking in the brain, for being responsible for over 1/3 of the autism cases. Research continues in this whole area, as there are many avenues that are being researched with different types of Autism.
What Can You Do to Help?
What makes toys for an Autistic child different are the colors, shapes and tactile nature of the toys. Many will have different shapes or nubs and hairs even. Many autistic children are non-verbal so they will gravitate to colors, shapes, and sensations that are felt through their hands or seen through their eyes. These toys are recommended by therapists and teachers for children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ASD(Autism Spectrum Disorder). It helps them to develop their fine motor skills. Children with these disorders are sometimes lacking in these fine motor skills. They can appear clumsy, so tactile toys help them develop their sense of touch. Some of these toys are also used to relax the mind and fingers of youngsters. It can be a mindless movement of the fingers that in effect relaxes the whole person. Relaxing beads of water cascade gently through some of the tubes. Colors move and swirl, giving the child a sense of wonder as movement is added by their own hand. JellyBeadz Waterbeads grow when added to water for a sensory explosion. A great addition to any hide and seek, type of game too. Colorful and fun for the child who needs that sensory boost. Sometimes children with Autism need a way to curb their high anxiety levels. Stretching and pulling these strings can be the answer. They can be knotted up and unraveled as need or want may be. Any or all of these toys are very affordable and will encourage all children to play in a way that will engage more than their eyes. Sensory toys are great for Autistic children but loved by all children and even adults too.
What else can you do?
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