Edna: Margie, have I told you about my friend Mr. Mang? He has a wonderful son whose 14th birthday is today. (Happy Birthday, L'il Mang!) His son also happens to be autistic, which is something that impacts their whole family as they help him to navigate the world around him.
Today is World Autism Awareness Day and there are so many things people just don't know about autism. I wish everyone would take a minute out of their busy lives today to learn a fact or two. Like this one: Autism now affects 1 in 110 children and 1 in 70 boys. Or this one: Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases.
Margie: Edna, I don't know a lot about it myself but I do believe in education. I have to agree with you that folks should try to learn a few facts about it.
I think we need to support more research too so we can know what causes it.
Edna: I think so too, Margie. Once our readers have picked themselves up off the floor from the shock of us agreeing with one another, I think they should head to the links below to learn more about autism and what's being done in terms of research and raising awareness and funds.
"Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Since then, Autism Speaks has grown into the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families."
"The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism was established by NFL quarterback Doug Flutie and his wife, Laurie, in honor of their son, Doug, Jr. who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Doug and Laurie are fortunate to have the resources to provide their son with the educational opportunities, special equipment and tools necessary for Doug, Jr. to live a happy and rewarding life. They realize, however, that there are thousands of families of children with autism who struggle every day to pay for similar services. Their primary objective is to provide families with a place to turn when they are in need of support and autism resources."
"Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world. Dr. Grandin didn't talk until she was three and a half years old, communicating her frustration instead by screaming, peeping, and humming. In 1950, she was diagnosed with autism and her parents were told she should be institutionalized. She tells her story of "groping her way from the far side of darkness" in her book Emergence: Labeled Autistic, a book which stunned the world because, until its publication, most professionals and parents assumed that an autism diagnosis was virtually a death sentence to achievement or productivity in life."
"The TreeHouse Trust is a London-based charity, established in 1997 to provide an educational Centre of Excellence for children with autism. It was set up by a group of parents (including author Nick Hornby) whose children had recently been diagnosed with autism."