April is Autism Awareness Month – Show You Care

first_imgClicking on the above graphic will connect you to the Autism Speaks website.April is Autism Awareness Month. Throughout the month, we will bring you articles that are designed to help increase your awareness, educate you on the topic, and share information related to resources that are available to families.   If you do not know anyone affected by Autism, you do not know many people.  In 2014, the CDC estimated the 1:68 kids were affected by Autism. Today, that number is estimated to be closer to 1:45.  For greater depth on the CDC’s report and the newer estimates, please feel free to click on the graphic posted above that will take you directly to the Autism Speaks web site.   They are a tremendous resource for information and advocacy.In 1998, involuntarily, I became much more knowledgeable of Autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. My awareness first came about when my brother and his wife’s twin son was displaying less social intimacy than his sister.  The disparity became evident when they were about two and a half years old.  What I witnessed next was my brother and his wife fighting (and I mean fighting) for the best testing, support, and care for their son.  Today, there son is a handsome 19 year old young man who brings joy to everyone that encounters him.  While he will be dependent on his parents and four sisters for the rest of his life, he is passionate and productive every day.  He has a great work ethic and takes pride in his accomplishments.  He embraces and shares love.During the same 17 year time period, one of my life-long best friends and his wife were going through a similar, yet uniquely different journey. No two cases are the same. There is no cookie cutter method for dealing with these challenges.  I witnessed their courageous bravery as they passionately advocated for the best care for their son.  Below is a brief video that shows Pat, Tina, and their son Daniel.Information regarding the Bancroft School can be found at Bancroft.org  or by clicking here.As I stated earlier, every case is unique. The Autistic Spectrum is astonishingly broad.  During the course of this month, we will attempt to share the stories of some regional families who share this reality.If you would like to share your story related to Autism and/or Autism Advocacy, feel free to contact me: [email protected] don’t forget to wear your blue this Saturday.By Michael DeVliegerlast_img read more