According to the Autism Speaks Organization, April is designated as World autism Awareness month.
Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, we know that there is not one autism but many sub-types; most influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn, think and problem solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some people with ASD may require significant support in their daily lives, while others may need less support and, in some cases, live entirely independently.
Several factors may influence the development of autism, and it is often accomplished by sensory sensitivities and medical issues such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures or sleep disorders, as well as mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression and attention issues.
Our weekly “Circle Up” at LIFESPAN highlights the fact that just as individuals with autism are unique and special in their gifts, talents and challenges, so are each one of us.
Yes, you are unique; separately set apart; there is no other person in the whole wide world that is fashioned, patterned, designed or made like you.
Your fingerprint…your DNA makeup…are uniquely yours. You were cut from a special cloth. You are special and perfect in your own uniqueness in that there is no other person in this world to which you can be compared. So, eliminate the urge of allowing others to validate you and comparing yourself to others…consider this since you are unique. There is no comparison.
Your journey is completely yours. It is unique. Others may try to steal part of it…tell it in their words…or shape it to suit themselves. However, the reality is no one can live it or own it but you.
Take charge of your journey; it’s yours and yours alone. It is not an accident that each one of us works together, here at LifeSpan. We combine our talents and gifts and lend ourselves to the care and keep of individuals with autism and other special needs. Destiny has brought us all together for such a time as this.
Keep this one thought in mind, when our uniqueness is celebrated and connected, it suddenly becomes something far greater than its individual truth. For us it manifests itself through the unlimited possibilities that lie within each of the unique individuals we serve…we celebrate their uniqueness as we work tirelessly to help those individuals not only see their potential but live into the unique possibilities for their life.
Celebrate your uniqueness! Celebrate the uniqueness of others! It is the beautiful, rich and vibrant tapestry of humanity!
—Marie Roberts, Accounting & Billing Specialist, LIFESPAN