Great Movies to WatchAs we look at the effects of Autism during the month,check out some movies that feature actors in the...
Bare Bones Facts About Autism Auti...
Here are 10 popular iTunes apps which are marketed towards parents and educators of children with a...
Satoshi Tajiri, Creator of the Pokémon franchise NOTHING IS HOLDING THEM BACK ...
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National Autism Awareness Month

The Autism Society has been honoring National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Health & Medicine      

Transcripts - National Autism Awareness Month

  • 1. Great Movies to WatchAs we look at the effects of Autism during the month,check out some movies that feature actors in thebusiness delivering an extraordinary performance. Rain Man (1988) Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitts father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country. Raymond has autism, he also has superb recall, albeit usually with little understanding of the subject matter, and extreme skill in mathematics. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) Stars: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio Gilbert Grape lives in a small town where nothing much happens. The towns most interesting resident is Gilberts autistic brother Arnie. Creating Diversity Awareness in the Workplace DIVERSITY WORD SEARCH Mercury Rising (1998) April 2012 Newsletter Starring Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Miko Hughes Bruce Willis is an outcast FBI agent who is assigned ABILITIES ASPERGER AUTISM to protect a 9 year old autistic boy who is the target AWARENESS CHALLENGE COMPLEX for assassins after cracking a top secret government code. DISORDER GLUTEN-FREE PARENTS PUZZLE STRENGTH UNDERSTANDING Adam (2009) Starring Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne, Peter Gallagher Adam, a lonely man with Aspergers Syndrome, develops a relationship with his upstairs neighbor, Beth. The writer was inspired to write the film after he heard a radio interview with a man who had Aspergers. Understanding Autism Joyful Noise (2012) Starring Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer G.G. Sparrow faces off with her choirs newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill, over the groups Each individual with autism is unique. Many of direction as they head into a national competition. those on the autism spectrum have exceptional Vi Rose has a son, Walter (Dexter Darden), who has Asperger syndrome. abilities in visual skills, music and academic skills. About 40 percent have average to above I Am Sam (1998) average intellectual abilities. Indeed, many Starring: Sean Penn, Dakota Fanning persons on the spectrum take deserved pride The story of an autistic man living independently and functioning well in the real world until his life changes in their distinctive abilities and “atypical” ways drastically when he becomes a father and is left to of viewing the world. Others with autism have care for his small child. significant disability and are unable to live independently. About 25 percent of individuals Autism is a complex developmental disability with ASD are nonverbal but can learn to The Other Sister (1999) Starring: Juliette Lewis, Dianne Keaton that typically appears during the first three communicate using other means. Autism A girl with many autistic traits proves herself capable years of life and affects a person’s ability to Speaks’ mission is to improve the lives of all of living independently when she moves into an apartment and starts college. communicate and interact with others. Autism those on the autism spectrum. For some, this is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a means the development and delivery of more "spectrum disorder" that affects individuals effective treatments that can address differently and to varying degrees. There is no significant challenges in communication andThe Staff Management | SMX DPIC includes: Kenyatta Draper, known single cause of autism, but increased physical health. For others, it means increasingLupe Gonzalez, Katie Smith, Jenny Reints, Roxanne Ramoutar,Avery Yancey, Dayna Corona, Jessica Lewis, Justin Schwartz, awareness and funding can help families today. acceptance, respect and support.Robert Cook, Maurice Proffit and Lloyd Weathers APRIL 2012 NEWSLETTER DIVERSITY PROGRAM INCLUSION COUNCIL CREATING DIVERSITY AWARENESS IN THE WORKPLACE NEWSLETTER APRIL 2012
  • 2. Bare Bones Facts About Autism Autism now affects 1 in 110 Celebrities Living With Autism children and 1 in 70 boys. 1. Autism Is a Spectrum Disorder People with autism can be a little autistic or very autistic. Thus, it is possible to be bright, verbal, and One percent of the population of children in Actress and Playboy model Jenny autistic as well as mentally retarded, non-verbal and autistic. The most significant shared symptom is the U.S. ages 3-17 have an autism spectrum McCarthy‘s son Evan was diagnosed with difficulty with social communication (eye contact, conversation, taking anothers perspective, etc.). disorder. Only 56% of students with autism autism; McCarthy is an outspoken activist finish high school. against vaccines, believing that vaccines 2. Asperger Syndrome is a High Functioning Form of Autism are responsible for giving her son autism. Asperger Syndrome (AS) is considered to be a part of the autism spectrum. The only significant difference More children will be diagnosed between AS and High Functioning Autism is that people with AS usually develop speech right on time while with autism this year than R&B singer Toni Braxton‘s son Diesel was people with autism usually have speech delays. People with AS are generally very bright and verbal, but with AIDS, diabetes and diagnosed with autism; Ms. Braxton is now have significant social deficits (which is why AS has earned the nickname "Geek Syndrome"). an advocate for parents of children with cancer combined autism. 3. People With Autism Are Different from One Another Autism costs the nation over $35 billion per If youve seen Rainman or a TV show about autism, you may think you know what autism "looks like." In year, a figure expected to significantly Sylvester Stallone’s son Seargeoh was fact, though, when youve met one person with with autism youve met ONE person with autism. Some increase in the next decade diagnosed with autism after his father people with autism are chatty; others are silent. Many have sensory issues, gastrointestinal problems, noticed that he was having speech delays. sleep difficulties and other medical problems. Others may have social-communication delays - and thats it. 1 to 1.5 million Americans Stallone organised the National Society for Children and Adults with Autism, a 4. There Are Dozens of Treatments for Autism - But No Cure live with an autism spectrum foundation for research on autism. So far as medical science is aware, there is at present no cure for autism. Thats not to say that people with disorder. autism dont improve, because many improve radically. Actress Holly Robinson Peete’s son RJ Autism receives less than 5% of the (Rodney Jackson) was diagnosed with 5. There Are Many Theories on the Cause of Autism, But No Consensus research funding of many less prevalent autism; she and husband NFL quarterback You may have seen or heard news stories about possible causes of autism. Theories range from mercury childhood diseases Rodney Peete have set up HollyRod, in infant vaccines to genetics to the age of the parents to almost everything else. a non-profit organization which helps The cost of autism over the parents of autistic children. 6. Children Rarely "Outgrow" Autism lifespan is 3.2 million dollars Autism is ausually lifelong diagnosis. For some people, often (but not always) those who receive intensive per person. Millionaire Bill Gates was diagnosed with early intervention, symptoms may decrease radically. People with autism can also learn coping skills to Asperger’s as a child; many sufferers of help them manage their difficulties and even build on their unique strengths. But a person with autism will There is no medical detection Asperger’s experience social awkwardness probably be autistic throughout their lives. or cure for autism. but find comfort in focused hobbies such as math and computer science. 7. Families Coping with Autism Need Help and Support Even "high functioning" autism is challenging for parents. "Low functioning" autism can be overwhelming to Actor Dan Aykroyd, famous for the entire family. Respite care (someone else taking care of the person with autism while other family Ghostbusters and his Saturday Night Live members take a break) can be a marriage and/or family-saver! skits was diagnosed with Tourette and Asperger’s syndrome. He has spoken 8. Theres No Best School for a Child with Autism openly about the struggles he faced as a You may have heard of a wonderful "autism school," or read of a child doing amazingly well in a particular child because of his neurological type of classroom setting. While any given setting may be perfect for any given child, every child with impairments. autism has unique needs. Actress Darryl Hannah, best known for her 9. There Are Many Unfounded Myths About Autism shy, yet demure demeanor in films such as The media is full of stories about autism, and many of those stories are less than accurate. Since every Splash and Blade Runner, was diagnosed person with autism is different, however, such "always" and "never" statements simply dont hold water. as borderline autistic as a small child. To understand a person with autism, its a good idea to spend some time getting to know him or her - personally! Albert Einstein, renowned genius and world-famous winner of the Nobel Prize 10. Autistic People Have Many Strengths and Abilities in physics, would undoubtedly been It may seem that autism is a wholly negative diagnosis. But almost everyone on the autism spectrum diagnosed as a sufferer of Asperger’s has a great to deal to offer the world. People with autism are among the most forthright, non-judgemental, had he been born today. passionate people youll ever meet.APRIL 2012 NEWSLETTER DIVERSITY PROGRAM INCLUSION COUNCIL CREATING DIVERSITY AWARENESS IN THE WORKPLACE CREATING DIVERSITY AWARENESS IN THE WORKPLACE NEWSLETTER APRIL 2012
  • 3. Here are 10 popular iTunes apps which are marketed towards parents and educators of children with autism: What is Light It Up Blue? Join Autism Speaks in celebrating World Autism Proloquo2Go. Highly recommended for kids and adults with autism, Awareness Day on April 2 and Light It Up Blue to cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental disabilities, apraxia, ALS, help shine a light on autism. Whether its your stroke or traumatic brain injury, this app-turned-AAC device utilizes colorful front porch or your local city hall, an office party or stick-figure illustrations and features an up-to-date vocabulary, text-to- a banquet, the whole world is going blue to speech voices and automatic conjugations. increase awareness about autism. Grace. This innovative app allows special-needs children to communicate Light It Up Blue, in its third year, is a unique through complete sentences by linking together colorful images and global initiative to help raise awareness about the symbols in this fully customizable application. growing public health concern that is autism. Iconic landmarks around the world will Light It Up iCommunicate. Create pictures, flashcards, storyboards, routines, visual Blue to show their support. schedules and record custom audio in any language with this versatile program; incorporates pictures from your camera or Google images. Helps to teach social skills for children with autism. iConverse. An inexpensive program designed for iPhone and iPod touch, this app functions as a picture exchange communication system (PECS) for autistic children and autistic adults alike, as well as others with communicative disabilities. iComm. Children who have cerebral palsy or autism will appreciate this fundamental communication system; iComm is an affordable alternative to many of the pricier communication devices. First Then Visual Schedule. Ease transitioning for children with developmental delays such as Autism Spectrum Disorders by introducing this easy-to-customize scheduler into your special-needs curriculum. Learn the Signs of Autism Research now suggests that children as young as 1 year old can show signs of autism. The most important thing Stories2Learn. Illustrate your own social stories for children with autism, you can do as a parent or caregiver is to learn the early signs of autism and understand the typical developmental using pictures, text and audio with this customizable program geared milestones your child should be reaching at different ages. Please look over the following list. If you have any towards enriching the curricula of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder concerns about your childs development, dont wait. Speak to your doctor about screening your child for autism. (ASD). While validated screening for autism starts only as young as 16 months, the best bet for younger children is to have their development screened at every well visit with a highly validated developmental screening tool. If your child does have autism, early intervention may be his or her best hope. AutismExpress. This free app displays basic facial expressions in a way which is comical and instructional; excellent for children who have difficulty (The following red flags may indicate a child is at risk for atypical development, and is in need of an understanding emotions. immediate evaluation.) In clinical terms, there are a few "absolute indicators," often referred to as "red flags," that indicate that a child TapToTalk. Make your own AAC albums with this app, currently including a should be evaluated. For a parent, these are the "red flags" that your child should be screened to ensure that he/ library of 2,000 pictures. Children can tap on each image to hear fun audio. she is on the right developmental path. If your baby shows any of these signs, please ask your pediatrician or family practitioner for an immediate evaluation: •  No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter MyTalk Mobile. The MyTalk Mobile is an AAC device for iPad, iPhone and •  No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter iPod touch; it also boasts the “My Talk Workspace,” which saves all info on •  No babbling by 12 months a backup file in case of device crashing. •  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 For more information about recognizing the early signs of developmental and behavioral disorders, please visit or the Centers for Disease Control at 2012 NEWSLETTER DIVERSITY PROGRAM INCLUSION COUNCIL CREATING DIVERSITY AWARENESS IN THE WORKPLACE CREATING DIVERSITY AWARENESS IN THE WORKPLACE NEWSLETTER APRIL 2012
  • 4. Satoshi Tajiri, Creator of the Pokémon franchise NOTHING IS HOLDING THEM BACK Satoshi Tajiri is a Japanese video game designer best known as Autism has always existed, says neurologist Oliver Sacks. But the condition wasnt the creator of Pokémon and the founder of development company Game Freak, Inc. An avid fan of arcade games, Tajiri wrote for and named until 1943, so its difficult to know much about autisms place in society before edited his own video gaming fanzine Game Freak with Ken then. And more than 60 years after Leo Kanner described the developmental disorder, Sugimori, before evolving it into a development company of the scientists still understand relatively little about it. Awareness about autism, however, has same name. The game, which became Pokémon Red and come a long way, thanks to researchers and a growing advocacy movement. Pokémon Green (Pokémon Blue outside of Japan), took six years to complete and went on to spark a multi-billion dollar franchise which reinvigorated Nintendos handheld gaming. Tajiri has also been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Meet some fantastic people living with autism everyday: Laurence Kim Peek, Inspiration for Rain Man Laurence Kim Peek (1951 – 2009) was an American savant. Known as a "megasavant", he had an eidetic memory, but also experienced Temple Grandin, Professor, Aauthor, and Consultant social difficulties, possibly resulting from a developmental disability Grandin is a philosophical leader of both the animal welfare related to congenital brain abnormalities. He was the inspiration for and autism advocacy movements. As a person with high- the character of Raymond Babbitt, played by Dustin Hoffman, in the functioning autism, Grandin is also noted for her work in movie Rain Man. Unlike Babbitt, In 2008, a study concluded that autism advocacy and is the inventor of the squeeze machine Peek probably had FG syndrome, a rare genetic syndrome linked to designed to calm hypersensitive people. She knows the the X chromosome which causes physical anomalies such as anxiety of feeling threatened by everything in her hypotonia (low muscle tone) and macrocephaly (abnormally large surroundings, and of being dismissed and feared, which head). Peek died of a heart attack on December 19, 2009. motivates her work in humane livestock handling processes. Grandin is listed in the 2010 Time 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world in the category "Heroes". Heather Kuzmich, Americas Next Top Model Finalist Heather Kuzmich is an American fashion model, living in Chicago, where she is studying video game design. Kuzmich was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when she was fifteen years old around the Tony DeBois, Autistic Savant Musician time her father died. Kuzmich was one of the final five contestants on Tony DeBlois was born blind and began to play piano at the age of two. At Americas Next Top Model, Cycle 9. Living with Asperger syndrome, first, DeBlois studied in the Perkins School for the Blind but in 1989 was Kuzmich has stated that she struggles with approaching people and awarded a summer scholarship at Berklee College of Music in Boston, communication skills. Massachusetts. Later he was admitted as a full-time student and graduated magna cum laude in 1996. DeBlois specializes in jazz and can play just about any other type of music as well. A blind US autistic savant, he plays 20 Matt Savage, Autistic Savant Musician musical instruments and has held concerts worldwide. He can play about Matthew "Matt" Savage is an American autistic savant musician. 8,000 pieces from memory. Matt was a precocious infant who walked early and learned to read by age 18 months. He was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, a form of autism, at age three. Matt did Donna Wiiliams, Best Selling Author not like any noises or music during his early childhood. At age six, Donna Williams is an author, artist, singer-songwriter, Matt taught himself to read piano music. He studied classical screenwriter and sculptor diagnosed with autism after being piano for less than a year before discovering jazz, which became assessed as a psychotic infant in 1965 at age two, tested his main focus. Despite his young age of 19 and his autism, and even without formal instruction in musical composition, Matt is an multiple times for deafness and labeled disturbed throughout accomplished musician and composer. Matt has received many childhood, before treatment for gut, immune and sensory awards, including being signed in 2003 to Bösendorfer pianos. perceptual disorders in adulthood. Williams first book was the He is the only child to be so recognized in the companys autobiographical Nobody Nowhere: The Extraordinary 175-year history. Autobiography of an Autistic Girl, an international bestseller with 15 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.APRIL 2012 NEWSLETTER DIVERSITY PROGRAM INCLUSION COUNCIL CREATING DIVERSITY AWARENESS IN THE WORKPLACE CREATING DIVERSITY AWARENESS IN THE WORKPLACE NEWSLETTER APRIL 2012

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