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What Is Autism? What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.

Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age.

 

How Common Is Autism?   

Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 88 American children as on the autism spectrum–a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Careful research shows that this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and awareness. Studies also show that autism is three to four times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.

By way of comparison, this is more children than are affected by diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome, combined.

ASD affects over 2 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. Moreover, government autism statistics suggest that prevalence rates have increased 10 to 17 percent annually in recent years. There is no established explanation for this continuing increase, although improved diagnosis and environmental influences are two reasons often considered.


What Causes Autism?


Not long ago, the answer to this question would have been “we have no idea.” Research is now delivering the answers. First and foremost, we now know that there is no one cause of autism just as there is no one type of autism. Over the last five years, scientists have identified a number of rare gene changes, or mutations, associated with autism. A small number of these are sufficient to cause autism by themselves. Most cases of autism, however, appear to be caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development.

In the presence of a genetic predisposition to autism, a number of nongenetic, or “environmental,” stresses appear to further increase a child’s risk. The clearest evidence of these autism risk factors involves events before and during birth. They include advanced parental age at time of conception (both mom and dad), maternal illness during pregnancy and certain difficulties during birth, particularly those involving periods of oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain. It is important to keep in mind that these factors, by themselves, do not cause autism. Rather, in combination with genetic risk factors, they appear to modestly increase risk.

A small but growing body of research suggests that autism risk is less among children whose mothers took prenatal vitamins (containing folic acid) in the months before and after conception.

General

Each individual with autism is unique. Many of those on the autism spectrum have exceptional abilities in visual skills, music and academic skills. About 40 percent have average to above average intellectual abilities. Indeed, many persons on deserved pride in their distinctive abilities and “atypical” ways of viewing the world. Others with autism have significant disability and are unable to live independently. About 25 percent of individuals with ASD are nonverbal but can learn to communicate using other means.  For some, this means the development and delivery of more effective treatments that can address significant challenges in communication and physical health. For others, it means increasing acceptance, respect and support.


My favorite links

The Dream

We are what we Believe we are.      
- C.S Lewis.  

Today there are more than 7 Billion people on earth. Yet our lives still depends on individuals. Our relationship with those around us define the global well-being of our world. 

Everyday we run through life. The pace is fast and the view narrow. From time to time we need to stop for water, look around us and see if we are still on track. It is hard to reach the end when the destination is unknown. 

During the following months I will shine the light on those who are changing the world. When we take a rest and reflect, the light will be shining bright on those who live their lives for Love. The spotlight will bring Hope and give new direction for our own adventure. The path will become clear and the destination known. 

My journey will take you to Central America. The people I meet will tell the story. One of Love... 
and how individuals are changing the world.  

Autism, Alzheimer’s and Awareness will keep the wheels turning on Onecycle and light up Onerevival.


For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.      -Jeremiah 29:11
Autism   shapeimage_5_link_0


              
             Alzheimer’s




Alzheimer's disease (AD), also known in medical literature as Alzheimer disease, is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death. It was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him.
 

Alzheimer's disease is an irreversible, progressive disorder in which neurons (brain cells) deteriorate.
Alzheimer's disease affects attention and concentration, planning ability (executive functions), memory, judgement and insight during the different stages of the illness.
 

Symptoms and signs
 10 warning signs of dementia

  


1   Recent memory loss that affects one’s job skills
2   Difficulty performing familiar tasks
3	   Problems with finding words in everyday conversation
4	   Disorientation for date and location
5   Poor or decreased judgment and decision making
6	   Problems with calculation and recognizing numbers
7   	Misplacing things regularly
8 	Inability to plan everyday activities
9	   Changes in personality
10	Loss of initiative

Language Impaired language functioning is called dysphasia. In the early stages the person has difficulty naming objects. Later on, other aspects of language functioning are also affected.                                                    
An inability to perform acquired motor functions is called apraxia. In the early stages the person may struggle with complex motor movements.
Personality changes occur in all people with Alzheimer's disease. The most common personality change is apathy, which is defined as a lack of interest and motivation.
Initially short-term memory is affected, but as the disease progresses, it will also include long-term memory.

Impairment of perceptual abilities is called agnosia. The brain develops an inability to process information obtained through the senses.
Planning and organization is often affected in the early stages of the illness.
At first the only symptom may be mild forgetfulness. As the disease progresses, different aspects of brain functioning become impaired.



                                                                     Awareness

The people I meet will tell the story of Love...

Our God is an Awesome God... His bringing Hope to the Hopeless, giving his heart to the broken, sharing his home with the orphans, He is the Joy, He is the Hope of the Nations, the Fathers’s Heart we’re embracing and He is the Song we’re declaring, He is the Joy, He is my Joy. -Bethel Live 




shapeimage_6_link_0
 
 
 
We are what we Believe we are.      
- C.S Lewis.  

Today there are more than 7 Billion people on earth. Yet our lives still depends on individuals. Our relationship with those around us define the global well-being of our world. 

Everyday we run through life. The pace is fast and the view narrow. Every now and again we need to stop for water and look around to see if we are still on track. It is hard to reach the end when the destination is unknown. 

During the following months I will shine the light on those who are changing the world. When we take a rest and look up to reflect, the light will be shining bright on those who live their lives for Love. The spotlight will bring Hope and give new direction for our adventure. The path will become clear and the destination known. 

My journey will take you to Central America. The people I meet will tell the story. One of Love... 
and how individuals are changing the world.  

Autism, Alzheimer’s and Awareness will keep the wheels turning on onecycle and light up onerevival.