World Autism Awareness Day
Right now, April 2, 2015 midnight GMT, starts World Autism Awareness Day. Today I’m taking part in RJ Scott’s annual World Autism Awareness Day blog hop. You can check out all of the other posts at the main page here. While I have a giveaway at the bottom of the page with details on how you can enter to win a copy of “The Adventures of Cole and Perry”, I thought I’d give a writing update along with some important information about Autism.
Information About Autism:
Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys
Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a complex set of neurological disorders that severely impair social, communicative and cognitive functions.
Autism doesn’t just affect children. Children with autism grow up to be adults with autism
Autism is a hidden disability – you can’t always tell if someone has it.
Some people with autism have an accompanying learning disability, learning difficulty or mental health problem.
One of the best known forms of autism is Asperger syndrome. People with the condition are often of average or above-average intelligence. They have fewer speech problems than people with other types of autism, but may find it difficult to understand and process language.
While some people with autism live independent lives, others may need a lifetime of specialist support. Autism can have a profound and sometimes devastating effect on individuals and families.
The causes of autism are still being investigated. According to the National Autistic Society (NAS), there is strong evidence to suggest that autism can be caused by a variety of environmental or neurological factors, all of which affect brain development. There is also evidence to suggest that genetic factors are responsible for some forms of autism.
Autism is not caused by a person’s upbringing and is not the fault of those with the condition.
There is no cure for autism. However, there are numerous interventions (learning and development techniques) that can help.
Typical ASD behaviors include stereotyped actions (hand flapping, body rocking), insistence on sameness, resistance to change and, in some cases, aggression or self-injury.
Autism was first described by Dr. Leo Kanner in 1943. He reported on eleven children who showed a marked lack of interest in other people, but a highly unusual interest in the inanimate environment.
Those with the condition share three main areas of difficulty, which are sometimes called the triad of impairments.
Those with Autism have difficulty recognising and understanding people’s feelings and managing their own, They may, for example, stand too close to another person, prefer to be alone, behave inappropriately and may not seek comfort from another person. This can make it hard for those with the condition to make friends.
People with autism have difficulty using and understanding verbal and non-verbal language, such as gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice, as well as jokes and sarcasm. Some might not speak, or have fairly limited speech. They may understand what people say to them but prefer to use alternative forms of communication, such as sign language.
People with autism have difficulty understanding and predicting other people’s intentions and behaviour, and imagining situations that are outside their own routine. This can mean they carry out a narrow, repetitive range of activities. A lack of social imagination should not be confused with lack of imagination. Many people with autism are very creative.
Autism affects the way a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.
Everyday life for people with autism can be confusing, frightening and lack meaning. They often find understanding and communicating with others particularly difficult, which can leave them feeling isolated.
People with autism may also experience some form of sensory sensitivity or a lack of sensitivity – for example, to sound, touch, taste, smell, lights or colour.
I’m overdue for a writing update so it’s time to get excited. I’ve been working on The Next Step which is a short story I submitted for an anthology two years ago. It never got picked up because there were a bunch of things wrong with it. So I pulled it out and have been hacking it up, and fixing things. I’m happy to say I’m going to be finished with the edits and expansion by the end of April. The goal is before that but hard deadline is April 30. After that it’s off to the betas, then editor. I hope to have it out some time this summer. Once that project is complete I’ll be working on After The Knock which is going to be a long, emotional journey for me to write.
As part of the blog hop I’m giving away one copy of The Adventures of Cole and Perry to one lucky commenter. Comment on this post with one fact about autism you didn’t already know, from a credible source. Cite your source! Contest closes Monday April 6 at 9PM Eastern time.