Friday, April 1, 2011

Autism Awareness Month

Joshua at 3 months old
Joshua at 1 year of age
Today marks the 1st day of Autism Awareness Month where attempts are made to raise awareness of this fastest growing developmental disorder in the world.  In the U.S. 1 in 110 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder with 1 in 70 boys being diagnosed.  Research is being done to determine the cause.  There is no cure, but intensive early therapies can really improve the quality of life and function.  So, the hope is that if more people are aware of the disorder, they can be alert to the symptoms to help others get an early diagnosis and therefore early treatment.
Just before he turned 2 years old
3 years old

At 4, Joshua started taking violin lessons since music has always been an obsession for him.  However, playing the violin lasted only 1.5 years.  He's now playing the guitar and piano along with any other instrument he can get his hands on.  This was taken in April 2009, when Joshua was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome

 Joshua was diagnosed at 4 and began intensive therapies right away.  Now at 6, he has made some incredible progress socially and behaviorally as a result of these therapies.  Several of his therapists over these past two years have made comments about how fast he picks up on the therapies and utilizes them.  In the first year of therapy, his therapist told us that what Josh accomplished in 3 months, many kids can't even come close to accomplishing in 1 year!  We praise the Lord for the brilliant mind He has given Josh and for the eager spirit he has to try the things he's being taught.  He still has a long way to go, especially socially, but each therapy will bring him closer to the potential to live a "fairly normal" adult life that his diagnosing psychologist says is possible for him because of his early diagnosis and treatment.
At 5

April 2nd is World Autism Day.  To commemorate it, people all over the world "Light it up Blue" by wearing blue, using blue lights, hanging blue signs, and wearing blue autism pins and such.  The Empire State Building lights it up blue each year along with other buildings throughout the world.  April 1-2 is used as the kickoff to the month along with the celebration of World Autism Day on the 2nd.  Won't you join the growing number of people who rally together from around the world to rally autism awareness?  Take a look at my Blue Page and browse the sight to learn more about the "Light it up Blue" Campaign as well as information about autism.

Crazy 6 year old so full of life
See my Lighting it up Blue post to see what we did in honor of World Autism Day!

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