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April 2nd Is Autism Awareness Day

By March 21, 2011

Autism Awareness Day - and month - are coming up fast.

On this site, I am planning a week of "New to Autism" blogs, to provide critical information to families just beginning their autism journey.

Next, I'll be publishing a series of guest blogs from individuals who have insight into autism-related topics that are less well publicized.  Topics will include adults on the autism spectrum; parenting a child with severe autism; autism and self-advocacy; autism and fatherhood; autism and spirituality; and more.

How will you be recognizing Autism Awareness Day and month?  Share your plans.

March 21, 2011 at 10:50 pm
(1) Sandy says:

I’m personally not planning on doing anything directly, other than maybe adding my input here and there. I think over all the best sort of awareness is daily and the things each parent does for their child/ children to make their worlds a better place for them. I think acknowledging those efforts individually is my plan than making a world-wide awareness attempt or follow larger orgs. So I’ll start with my local parents, then head on over to facebook and let everyone know how great they are.

March 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm
(2) Anne McElroy Dachel says:

“Families just beginning their autism journey” need to realize that health officials and the medical community can offer them very little, even after two decades of an exponential increase in autism. There’s no known cause or cure. There’s nothing expectant parents can do to prevent their child from being one more on the autism spectrum. That’s a pretty dismal picture of what’s available for autism parents.

Recently, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee created by Congress to deal with autism said this in their 2011 Strategic Plan: http://www.iacc.hhs.gov/strategic-plan/2011/introduction.shtml

“Two decades ago, autism was a little-known, uncommon disorder. Today, autism is more common in the United States than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined, and the increasing numbers of children being diagnosed with autism has created a national health emergency. …

“The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prevalence estimates of ASD for children are 1 in 110 (CDC, 2009). These estimates, more than tenfold higher than two decades ago, raise several urgent questions: Why has there been such an increase in prevalence? What can be done to reverse this alarming trend? How can we improve the outcomes of people already affected, including youth and adults?”

Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

March 22, 2011 at 9:28 pm
(3) White&Nerdy says:

Hi Ms Dachel,

Autism has not increased exponentially.

If AoA were to change its policy and have qualified scientists write about science then you would start getting the facts correct and probably understand why you have completely failed to convince the medical/scientific/legal communities.


March 28, 2011 at 2:27 pm
(4) Springingtiger says:

Here in Glasgow the ARC which is partially NHS funded provided my diagnosis following a referral from my doctor. They also provide FREE courses and support. I have no complaint against the medical community, some of whom are very committed to people with Autism. As for a cure, why would I want to be someone else?

March 28, 2011 at 7:14 pm
(5) Zoey says:

Anne Dachel is known for her denial Autistic adults on the spectrum even exist as in past postings on Age of Autism which is famous for being a anti vax publication affiliate of Generation Rescue. Age of Autism more focused on vaccination issues than Autism issues as well.ty

March 21, 2011 at 11:15 pm
(6) Anne McElroy Dachel says:

The IACC is still looking for answers. So why isn’t someone expressing alarm over autism with press conferences and interviews on the news? Dr. Thomas Insel head of the IACC has talked about the fact that 80 percent of Americans with autism are under the age of 18 and that we need to prepare for a million adults with autism “who may be in need of significant services” in speeches at MIT and NIH, but not on CNN. This seems to be the kind of “national health emergency” that no one wants to bring to the attention of the public.

My question continues to be, How long are we only going to ask for awareness of an epidemic?

Maybe a better dedication for April would be “Autism Emergency Month.”

Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

March 22, 2011 at 12:00 am
(7) Sandy says:

Even after two decades much has been learned about autism and as much dread as some may want to give to families just beginning, there’s much hope they can learn from parents, and mom’s like me. There’s very little in this world one can expect to prevent and when that non perfect child is born, there’s many before them to help let them know regardless, there’s is very much to offer.

A better dedication for April would be “Autism Hope Month.” A child with autism isn’t the end of all disorder’s. There is much to be learned from these children and the of their parents and they should be celebrated for the hope they offer others.

March 22, 2011 at 3:46 am
(8) Lemuel says:

For Autism Awareness Day and Month, it would also be a great idea if you can present products which could help families in dealing with their children with autism. These companies that produce these products can sponsor the event in exchange for showcasing their products.

March 22, 2011 at 10:12 am
(9) barbaraj says:

I don’t know, I’m sure we can look to history, isn’t there a “lead poisoning awareness month”..maybe that can help? We, in our city have an epidemic of that as well, and children born “perfect” have succumbed , they are exhibiting learning disabilities, violent behaviors, most can’t go on to hold down life sustainable jobs. The lawyers are having a field day, advertising for these families to step forward and sue. Maybe we will have a “whole month” in the future. Right now, we don’t seem too aware. There is nothing to offer anyone, no cause, no cure.

March 22, 2011 at 10:50 am
(10) virginie lykins says:

We recently found out that our second son has the diagnose childhood autism. My oldest son was diagnosed at age 3.

We have four children, and though autism has changed our lives, and plans for the future. Our children are beautiful, healthy and their special needs, has only made them more dear to us.

I have kept an online journal since 2008 about life in Scandinavia with children within the autism spectrum.


On the site there is an autism awareness pamphlet I put together to explain to people we meet about autism…so many still don’t know exactly what it is .

I have it in French and English, but my goal for the awareness month is to have it translated into Spanish and Norwegian

March 22, 2011 at 9:35 pm
(11) White&Nerdy says:

Hi Ms Lykins,

You have a very nice site.

I had the chance to read through some of your entries on your housing problems. I suspect that things would have turned out much worse in the US. It seems there is even less support here.


March 22, 2011 at 6:43 pm
(12) Maurine meleck says:

Better names for April 2

Every day is autism awareness day for those who suffer.

Autism-A Man Made Epidemic Day

Mercury and other neurotoxins day.

Be aware that soon we will all be supporting the tens of thousands of children reaching adulthood day.

If you take vaccines and get injured, you’re on your own day.

Kidds with autism are physically sick day

March 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm
(13) White&Nerdy says:

Hi Ms meleck,

Instead of arguing by assertion, you might want to check out toxicology and trace the long history of anti-vacc fraud on the autism community.

FTR–there are no toxins in vaccines and autism occurs in utero–this is all out there if you are willing to look.


March 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm
(14) Lisa says:

Maurine, Anne and Barbara – just to understand – is it your perspective that there’s nothing to be said about autism that doesn’t relate to vaccines?

I mean, I appreciate the simplicity of your streamlined approach – but is there really nothing else to be said on the subject of autism spectrum disorders?


March 22, 2011 at 9:22 pm
(15) White&Nerdy says:

Hi Lisa,

We plan to go out for dinner–continuing effort of exposing our kids to social situations and exposing the world to our kids.

I like the autism and self-advocacy topic. To me this is both very important and a topic where blogs can provide useful guidance/suggestions/advise.


March 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm
(16) Sandy says:

Anne McElroy Dachel says “There’s no known cause or cure. There’s nothing expectant parents can do to prevent their child from being one more on the autism spectrum.”

Maurine meleck says “Autism-A Man Made Epidemic”

Which is it?? April seems it might be an interesting month.

March 23, 2011 at 8:53 pm
(17) White&Nerdy says:

Please Sandy,

You know the rules…hit and run postings, disregard for facts or even consistency–followed by lots and lots of rage when the rest of world rejects their POV.


March 22, 2011 at 11:00 pm
(18) barbaraj says:

Is it possible we disagree because we aren’t experiencing the same illness? Are the children who regressed, who have constant yeast ,eczema, bowel disturbances, the children of the “epidemic”. If not for my oldest, a young adult who developed crohn’s after his measle shot, I may see this differently. He has during episodes, broken out, lost vision in one eye, become aggitated, been unable to eat with ulcerations from mouth, esophagus on down, and sadly I have to report that he had his very first seizure as an adult a few weeks ago!! His First and VERY frightening! He refuses to go to a doctor, as over the years, they have been of no help and tosses his seizure up to vitamin deficiency brought about by a recent flare up.He is not on any spectrum, and he clearly has a diagnosed disease. His baby brother, age ten at this point, suffers similarly with rashes, yeast infections, bowel disturbances but is on some nebulous “spectrum of a behavioral disorder”. The only behavioral symptoms “big” brother had was a tendency toward being a bit hyper, and around ages 6 to 12 a vocal tic. Little brother lost language, all speech, big brother did not. I KNOW big brother’s was from the measle vaccine, I had him back at the docs ten days after with a high fever, a measle rash and barely responsive. This was BEFORE Wakefield’s name was ever mentioned. I was sending off stool samples to the local university lab for testing by his age three, because the doc believed there would be some finding. He had his eyes cultured, his blisters cultured, and it all came back..likely autoimmune. This damage from vaccines is my experience, as it is experienced over and over with many that have children with the regressive type of ASD. Is it possible that the part of the brain that results in autism like behaviors can be damaged by things other than vaccines? Maybe?

March 23, 2011 at 6:32 am
(19) Lisa says:

Barbara – YES, yes, yes!!

I absolutely think we are looking at multiple autisms that begin and progress very differently, with only a very few commonalities.

You are describing a very different disorder than we have ever experienced with our son. None of the physical disorders you describe, NO obvious regression, no seizures (tough wood), etc. Yet very definite and real speech and cognitive issues that are idiosyncratic, and many of the other ASD symptoms – along with surprising and impressive talents.

I honestly think we are looking at a constellation of different disorders with some similar symptoms and many disparate symtpoms as well.


March 22, 2011 at 11:01 pm
(20) barbaraj says:

I don’t think “awareness” is possible, because we have an entire , well funded camp , that is spewing out information that is likely wrong for the majority involved in this “epidemic”. Awareness may do harm by suggesting that behaviors can be controlled, that acceptance is warm and fuzzy, which imo could extend the time that we continue to neglect these children.

March 23, 2011 at 6:46 am
(21) Sandy says:

Some Org created October as Vaccine Injury Awareness Month, although it doesn’t seem to be nationally recognized.
April is Autism Awareness Month. It’s not multiple types of autism; any child can as does have yeast ,eczema, bowel disturbances, seizures and more, not to be mistaken as a sign of autism. It’s the autism as described by the DSM as to not to confuse the public to just what autism is.

March 23, 2011 at 11:49 am
(22) barbaraj says:

I understand those maladies aren’t to be “mistaken” for autism, however, those are the co-morbid issues with many, many who regressed. I don’t know ONE in my personal experience that doesn’t share those issues , which certainly IS part and parcel with their autism. This is why I “wonder” if we aren’t talking two different diseases.In my opinion, autism is a systemic illness with brain involvement, not to be misconstrued as a behavioral disorder. The behavioral disorder is a side effect of the disease,not the disease. There is pain, there is sickness, there are hearing and visual disturbances, and someone wants to diagnose this as psychiatric and make us aware?

March 23, 2011 at 11:57 am
(23) Lisa says:

Barbara, I’m certainly surprised that ALL the the people you know with autism have physical symptoms as you’ve described.

While I don’t know the actual statistics (if their are any) for regression, digestive issues, skin issues, etc., I have met plenty of kids who have few or none of these problems (except in the normal course of things like flu, sunburn, etc.).

I have to wonder whether the groups you’re most connected with have self-selected in some way?

Be that as it may, I actually agree with both you AND Sandy: I think we are looking at two or more discrete disorders, AND it is clear that the autism spectrum described in the diagnostic criteria does not include the issues you describe.

I would be amazed if we found that ALL the autism diagnosed today came from the same source. It seems almost impossible!


March 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm
(24) AutismNewsBeat says:

Sounds like confirmation bias.

March 23, 2011 at 8:51 pm
(25) barbaraj says:

I missed your early morning response Lisa, and yes, it is possible that we are looking at different disorders. I don’t see any surprising and/or interesting talents, no savant types among the children I see. My son is very artistic, and very gifted in math, however, so was I at his age, and while I played the violin, and he plays the drums, we both are pretty average, no hint of a symphony for me or a rock band in his future. He would be a pretty average kid if he could overcome the social deficits, and regain physical health. I just want him to have a friend, just one, he managed this for awhile, but it’s over. It’s hard when his baby brothers have friends over, you can see the hurt in his beautiful blue eyes.Today was a bad day, all went for haircuts, and he had a meltdown, no haircut, and the first meltdown in a long time, but gosh when they are big it’s so hard to deal with, the people around looked like they may call the police, and as he gets bigger, sure, that could happen, and he could seem a threat, and God only knows what that could bring. My three year old, just pats him and says, come on , it’s okay, it’ll be okay. I’m sure people thought I should remove the three year old, because he could get hurt, but he didn’t, and he never has. Although he’s called names during this, as are the rest of us, and screamed at to “go away” “get off of me”..and such. Oh well, on a positive note, he did not run into traffic, did not run away, and that’s a huge improvement! In retrospect it was a bit my fault,I didn’t plan for it with him, I find I must plan for any deviations from the daily routine.

March 24, 2011 at 9:45 am
(26) hera says:

hi barbaraj, I am really sorry you had such a bad day. I sounds like you do a great jobmanaging difficult and challenging situations.Likelyhood is anyone giving you weird looks has never been there.
I know the “no friends’ hurt all too well; it is one of the worst things when they know they don’t get invited to the parties or have anyone to have a playdate with.Think as a mom it hurt almost more than anything else because there was no way to fix it for him..
I am so lucky right now that my son goes to a tiny private school where the teacher, bless her ,does not tolerate the kind of bullying that went on at the previous school. And as the kids got to know him, they actually like him. He has actually been invited to two birthday parties, and he had people come to his. Woo hoo!!!
By the way Lisa; a non controversial (really)! topic that I would love to see; I know there are programs out there that are supposed to teach recognition of face emotions.
Do you know anything about them, which ones work the best, which are free or inexpensive, what the links are for them etc? Am pretty sure than some of my sons problems with friends stem from the fact that he just cannot read face emotions that well.Like Barbarajs’ son,he truly wants and values people contact.
I figure if he can learn math through labor intensive repetition, maybe he can learn this skill that way too?

March 24, 2011 at 4:43 pm
(27) barbaraj says:

Thanks Hera, yes, the hurt we feel for them when they hurt is worse than any regular “bad” day.
I’m guessing others are familiar with this young man? I wasn’t, and while I haven’t read through his entire site, he seems a positive role model for our children.

March 28, 2011 at 6:15 pm
(28) Ellen Blackburn says:

National Awareness Night at the Florida Panthers game
Saturday April 2nd Panthers Vs Penquins game
we The Puzzle Place Foundation has a table with lots of information on Autism,therapist,etc

March 28, 2011 at 7:11 pm
(29) Zoey says:

Hi everyone…I am an Adult with Aspergers on the spectrum and I have 2 wonderful nephews who are also on the spectrum one has Aspergers and his brother has to low to med verbal Autism. I plan on spending it online supporting my fellow Autistic brothers and sisters and there supporters and families as there is nothing local in my area,although I plan on encouraging all to wear colors to represent the diversity of the spectrum. ..ty Zoey :) and have a wonderful month of April and April 2nd!

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