Wednesday, April 8, 2009


April is Autism Awareness month!

You may have noticed there are a few commercials on television, the network affliates may run a local feature, and Jenny McCarthy on Larry King Live has resurfaced. Discovery Health has also aired a very good special called "Unlocking Autism".

Not a day goes by that I am not aware of autism. But, I am also VERY aware of the grace and faithfulness of the Lord every second of every day. Jackson, our (gulp) almost 17 year old, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2.

God has been ever present on this journey. It has been a journey where road blocks have included hopelessness, helplessness, self-pity, deep sorrow and a sense of great loss.

The road blocks have been cleared out of the way. We continue to walk on, rejoicing over each step forward, perservering even when we have taken a step or two back. (There will be more on that another day.)

For now, I've decided to run a few facts myself, so here goes...

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person's lifetime. It is part of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. Autism impairs a person's ability to communicate and relate to others. It is also associated with rigid routines and repetitive behaviors, such as obsessively arranging objects or following very specific routines. Symptoms can range from very mild to quite severe.

Autism impacts one in every 150 children and a new case of autism is diagnosed almost every 20 minutes.

More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined. There is no known cause and no cure.

More Facts…
-1 in 94 boys is on the autism spectrum
-67 children are diagnosed per day
-Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
-Autism costs the nation over $35 billion per year, a figure expected to significantly increase in the next decade
-Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
-Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
-There is no medical detection or cure for autism

Please spend some time praying for a breakthrough in the area of autism research and a cure.