Archived Story

April is Autism Awareness Month

Published 11:16am Sunday, April 15, 2012

We depart from history this week to honor Autism Awareness Month with facts about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The Center for Disease Control announced in March that the incidence of ASD is on the rise. The CDC now estimates 1 in 88 children has been identified with ASD, a 23 percent increase since the last report in 2009. ASD is five times more common in boys, with 1 in 54 boys identified with ASD.

ASD is a complex developmental disability with a wide spectrum of symptoms. ASD is a neurological disorder, changing how the brain works and making communication difficult. Specific diagnoses include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome. As many as 1.5 million Americans today live with ASD. ASD can affect any family and any child, regardless of race, ethnicity, family income level, education or lifestyle choices.

Everyone should know the warning signs for ASD. If a child shows any of these signs, seek a family doctor to conduct an immediate ASD evaluation:

No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter

No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter

No babbling by 12 months

No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months

No words by 16 months

No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months

Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age

The Hormel Historic Home offers three ASD programs: Circle of Friends Day Camp for elementary aged children, All Access Community Explorations for middle school and high school students and a Family Respite program. More information, including registration forms, can be found on the HHH web site at www.hormelhistorichome.org.

 This Week at the HHH

Monday: Board of Directors at 8:30 a.m.

Tuesday: Social Concerns: Ghost Towns of Mower County by Dustin Heckman of the Mower County Historical Society at 10 a.m.; Board of Trustees at 4 p.m.

Wednesday: Vision 2020 Big Reveal at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 21: Stepping Out for Autism Walk at the Mill Pond at 10 a.m. Picnic lunch for free will offering at noon. Contact the HHH office at 433-4243 for information.

 Coming soon to the HHH

A Chocolate Affair Spring Luncheon: Monday, May 7, at noon. Tables of eight are being reserved for this four course luncheon featuring two sweet and two savory courses. Proceeds benefit the HHH Peace Garden. Contact the HHH office at 433-4243 for information.


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