A dear friend of mine posted these seven statistics on facebook and I thought I would share them with you here:
1) Autism now affects 1 in 88 children (1 in 54 boys).
2) Autism prevalence figures are growing.
3) Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined.
4) Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average.
5) Autism receives less then 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases.
6) Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism.
7) There is no medical detection or cure for autism.
Here's a look at a homework assignment of a child living with autism.
How many teachers out there would look at this and think that the child who wrote this is being uncooperative? At first glance to me it seemed as though someone was making fun of a child who can't spell. Then I read the teacher's instructions again.
I wonder how many teachers out there are looking at this and thinking that this child is being uncooperative? How many teachers are looking at this and feel offended? How many teachers are looking at this and having an 'aha' moment?
As a parent, looking at this makes me think if perhaps my eleven year old can't write because he's over thinking the rules? Maybe. Could it be that the letters themselves standing alone make no sense to him? Maybe. I wish he could tell me, I really do. But this picture clearly shows that the child who finished the homework assignment wasn't 'lazy' about his work. He or she clearly takes pride in his work and put a lot of effort into it. He or she made certain to follow the rules and did what was asked.
Rules... just one small deficit area for our children. A rule is a rule is a rule.
Autism... It's not a processing error... It's a different operating system altogether. Most of us can overcome a mistake in direction and read between the lines, but our children really struggle in letting go of the details. Every detail is important to them, and they just can't decide which detail is the MOST important.
In my home, it doesn't help that my career is detail focused. If I don't pay attention to details, people can die, so my motto at home with my children is 'pay attention to details people!' I think I may have to make a slight adjustment to my motto... Not sure how, so if anyone has suggestions, please share!
Consider yourselves hugged,