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Should Bo run an Autism event next year in April?

Yes! I had so much fun with this one! 0.25 25.0% [ 12 ]
Yes. I learnt a lot more and I'm sure there is more to learn. :) 0.25 25.0% [ 12 ]
Maybe...I dunno...it could be a good idea. 0.0625 6.2% [ 3 ]
No. Total waste of time and gold. 0.0625 6.2% [ 3 ]
Yes. It's a great cause to be aware of. :) 0.375 37.5% [ 18 ]
Total Votes:[ 48 ]
1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 87 88 89 > >>
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Welcome to the Autism Awareness Event, running over the month of April. I am Bo, the hostess of the thread and I welcome those with open minds and hearts for a cause, that to many, is still unknown and is still severely prejudiced against simply because they don't fit into our "normal world". What is normal for us, isn't exactly normal for those who have Autism. They see the world in a different way to us and that isn't exactly a bad thing.

What is Autism?
Autism, part of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD), is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person's lifetime. The disorder is characterised by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills and social abilities, and also by repetitive behaviours. Symptoms range from mild to severe. One milder form of the disorder is known as Asperger's Syndrome. Other developmental disorders that fall under the Autism Spectrum Disorders are Rett Syndrome, PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified), and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviours in their child or their child's failure to reach appropriate developmental milestones. Some parents describe a child that seemed different from birth, while others describe a child who was developing normally and then lost skills. If you have concerns about your child's development, don't wait: speak to your paediatrician about getting your child screened for autism.

There will be more information available in the FAQ post down the page further. smile

ALL CONTESTS START ON THE 1ST OF APRIL EDT UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE.
If you don't know what/where EDT is, here is a handy link to help you out. smile

I'd like to add a small note here. This thread is dedicated to one of my closest friends on this site. She has now left, never to return here, but, April, thank you for the memories. This is for you and your adorable autistic son heart
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~ "Patience. Patience. Patience. Work to view my autism as a different ability rather than a disability. Look past what you may see as limitations and see the gifts autism has given me. It may be true that I’m not good at eye contact or conversation, but have you noticed that I don’t lie, cheat at games, tattle on my classmates or pass judgment on other people? Also true that I probably won’t be the next Michael Jordan. But with my attention to fine detail and capacity for extraordinary focus, I might be the next Einstein. Or Mozart. Or Van Gogh." - Ellen Notbohm ~

~ "The difference between high-functioning and low-functioning is that high-functioning means your deficits are ignored, and low- functioning means your assets are ignored." Laura Tisoncik ~

~ "Being diagnosed for any difference, it's not about the labelno one need know, it's about true identity." - Alyson Bradley ~

~ "Always
Unique
Totally
Intelligent
Sometimes
Mysterious" Circle of Moms Blog~

~ "Nobel prize-calibre geniuses often have certain core autistic features at their heart" Allan Snyder, director of Sydney University's Centre for the Mind. ~

~ "I see people with Asperger's syndrome as a bright thread in the rich tapestry of life" - Tony Attwood. ~

~ "Autism (with a capital “A”) to me, says that I accept my child wholly. I celebrate his differences and his quirky-ness. I advocate diversity. I try to empower him. I am proud of his successes, no matter how small they seem. I hope he holds onto the compassion he has in his heart into adulthood. I do not think he needs “fixing”. I am proud that he is my son, and sometimes I am humbled by that very same thought." Mommy Dearest ~

~ "Imagine a world where Aspergers was the norm, and non-autistics or neurotypicals were the minority. Let's try it: Those who feel the need to constantly be with a variety of friends are considered fickle. Those with no propensity for computers and science are called geeks. Those with no special interest are thought to be ungrounded and lost. Those without obsessive focus have to take classes to cultivate it." Rudy Simone ~

~ "When living with a neurological condition (or with a loved one who has one), it can be very easy to focus on the challenges and limitations. But in my life, I have found that focusing on abilities, finding new ways to adapt, have been crucial to my successes in life. Seeking those solutions can even be seen as a form of creativity. Although, like anyone, I have my moments of discouragement, I've learned to use my challenges to push me forward. I believe what Dr. Sacks says is very important. There is much more to a life on the spectrum than just deficiencies and deficits, and those "deficiencies and deficits" can very well be strengths in certain circumstances." Lynn Soraya ~

~ "I have two young children with autism. What could they have ever done to deserve that? What kind of a God allows the innocent to suffer? It's a mystery. Yet still, I believe in God." Fred Melamed ~

~ "If you start using a medication in a person with autism, you should see an obvious improvement in behavior in a short period of time. If you do not see an obvious improvement, they probably should not be taking the stuff. It is that simple."Temple Grandin ~

~ “I didn’t get where I am today by not being autistic.” Larry Arnold ~

~ "I feel life is a journey and we all have to learn to ride the storm, for some of us it can seem more like a tidal wave, but with every storm the sun eventually comes back out." -Alyson Bradley ~

~ "Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible"- Frank Zappa ~

~ "The difference between high-functioning and low-functioning is that high-functioning means your deficits are ignored, and low- functioning means your assets are ignored." - Laura Tisoncik ~

~ "Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior." - Hans Asperger ~

~ "Autism is not something I have. It is integral to who I am. Eliminate the autism, and you eliminate me. When you say you want a cure, you are saying I should be put to death. Think about it." Parrish S. Knight ~

~ "I do not suffer from Autism, but I do suffer from the way you treat me." -Tyler Durdin ~

~ "I may have been born different and misunderstood from birth, but I know there is a place for me, somewhere in this universe." - Alyson Bradley ~

~ "Someone with Asperger’s really is like you, just more extreme." Dr. Winnie Dunn ~

~ "Asperger’s syndrome has probably been an important and valuable characteristic of our species throughout evolution." Tony Attwood ~

~ "For success in science and art a dash of autism is essential." Hans Asperger ~
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The aim of this contest is to help broaden your knowledge on Autism and help you gain a better understanding of it. You MUST quote this post with the question and answer it to be able to win the prize. Unfortunately, it will be first come, first serve with the answer, unless your answer is something that is relevant to the question that I hadn't considered, then you will receive 5k for your answer.
Prize - 10k

Question: Do you better understand Autism and what have you learned this month? Everyone can answer this question and will recieve 5k. smile
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Entries into the tektek and avatar contests are now officially closed. smile 25th April 2011 8pm.

Winners announced on page 85. smile

I have at least 2 contests on my mind for this section. The 1st is a tektek made with the colours that are represented on the ribbon for Autism. No price limit is in place. The 2nd is an avatar made the with colours for Autism that your avatar MUST wear for a period of 1.5 weeks to be considered for the contest. The colours for Autism, if you don't already know, is RAINBOW! So lets make our outfits as colourful as possible. ^_^
So quote this post with the contest you are entering and post an image of your avatar/tektek. heart

1st Tektek in Autism Colours
Starts 1st April - Ends 25th April
Voting takes place for the winner between the 25th and 30th April.

1st place receives 500k
2nd place receives 250k
3rd place receives 150k
The remaining top 10 avatars (if we get that many), receives 50k each.


2nd Avatar must be dressed in Autism Colours
Starts 1st April - Ends 25th April
Voting takes place for the winner between the 25th and 30th April.

1st place receives 500k
2nd place receives 250k
3rd place receives 150k
The remaining top 10 avatars (if we get that many), receives 50k each.
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Ok, so this section isn't exactly a contest. These need to be posted in the thread, or if you can't post in the thread for some reason, for example, if you wish to remain anonymous, then you can pm me with your story. These will not be judged. People who post a story will receive 30k.

1st Your story - A day in the life of someone caring for/living with Autism

2nd Your understanding of Autism - You don't know anyone with Autism, but your understanding of what Autism is...
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Rusty is going to be helping me by answering questions you may have in regards to Autism and I will post them here when I find them.

FAQ on Autism


~Autism Ribbon Symbol~

~What is Autism? Autism is a severe developmental disorder that begins at birth or within the first two-and-a-half years of life. Most autistic children are perfectly normal in appearance, but spend their time engaged in puzzling and disturbing behaviours which are markedly different from those of typical children. Less severe cases may be diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or with Asperger's Syndrome (these children typically have normal speech, but they have many "autistic" social and behavioural problems).

~How Common is Autism? According to the Centres for Disease Control, autism affects as many as 1 in every 110 children in the United States. Therefore, it is estimated that 1.5 million Americans may be affected with autism. Also, government statistics suggest the rate of autism is rising 10-17 percent annually. Unfortunately, the numbers appear to be continuing their upward climb. In fact, it is the most prevalent developmental disorder to date; according to the Centres for Disease Control, of the approximately 4 million babies born every year, 24,000 of them will eventually be identified as autistic. Also, recent studies suggest boys are more susceptible than girls to developing autism. In the United States alone, 1 out of 70 boys are suspected of being on the spectrum, with perhaps more going undiagnosed to this day. That said, girls appear to manifest a more severe form of the disorder than their male counterparts.

~What is the Outlook? Age at intervention has a direct impact on outcome--typically, the earlier a child is treated, the better the prognosis will be. In recent years there has been a marked increase in the percentage of children who can attend school in a typical classroom and live semi-independently in community settings. However, the majority of autistic persons remain impaired in their ability to communicate and socialise.

~What does it mean to be “on the spectrum”? Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means it manifests itself in many different forms. A diagnosis can range from mild to severe, and though children who have it (i.e. are on the spectrum) are likely to exhibit similar traits, they're also as individual as the colours of a rainbow, each one managing a grab bag of symptoms. While one child may rarely speak and have difficulty learning how to read and write, another can be so high-functioning he's able to attend classes in a mainstream school. Yet another child may be so sensitive to the feel of fabric that all tags must be cut off before he wears a piece of clothing, while his friend who's also autistic may not have any sensory issues at all.

~How did my child develop autism? No one knows for sure. Though it's understandable to expect that a disorder as common as autism would have a known cause, in many ways it's still quite mysterious. Recent studies suggest a strong genetic basis for autism -- up to 20 sets of genes may play a part in its development. Genetics alone, however, can't account for all the cases, and so scientists are also looking into possible environmental origins, as well as other triggers.

~Is there a cure for autism? Unfortunately, experts have been unable thus far to come up with a cure for autism. Many treatments and therapies have surfaced since the disorder has grown more visible in the mainstream press, but reputable doctors have yet to agree on any that will reverse the diagnosis. But there's hope: Scientists are hard at work every day finding a solution for this growing problem. While advocacy groups have said for years that lack of funding for research is to blame for the dearth of definitive answers, a bill known as the Combating Autism Act, which would funnel millions of dollars to developing a cure, was passed through Congress and signed by the President ensuring that $162 million has been appropriated to fund autism research, services and treatment. Until such cure is discovered, parents have been relying on early intervention programs such as applied behaviour analysis, or ABA, and play therapy to mitigate the behaviours associated with autism. For some, these treatments have proven to be very successful, helping kids on the spectrum lead a full and active life.

~How can I tell if a child has autism? No two children with autism are alike, but there are some signs that many of them share and that experts agree may be as recognisable as early as the toddler years, or even sooner. Children on the spectrum generally have difficulty relating to others; they may hardly speak, and if they do, they may not communicate in ways that other people can easily understand (they may screech loudly when they're upset, for example, instead of crying). They don't usually sustain eye contact – it's too intense -- and have trouble reading social cues. They're also prone to repetitive behaviours, flapping their hands constantly or uttering the same phrase over and over again. They may also be more sensitive than typically developing children, or dramatically less so, to sights, sounds and touch.

~What should I do if I suspect something is wrong with my child? Don't wait--talk to your doctor about getting child screened for autism. New research shows that children as young as one may exhibit signs of autism, so recognising early signs and knowing developmental milestones is important. Early intervention is key.

~How do I get my child the help he needs? You can start by making sure he has a reputable healthcare team by his side. That means finding doctors, therapists, psychologists and teachers who understand and have experience with autism and can respond to his shifting needs appropriately. Ask your child's paediatrician to recommend a developmental paediatrician with whom you can consult about the next step. She, in turn, can guide you toward various intervention programs and suggest complementary therapies. It also helps to plug into an already existing network of parents facing the same challenges as you.

~How do I deal with this diagnosis? First, be kind to yourself. It's not easy to recover from the shock of learning your child has a developmental disorder that has no known cause or cure. Accept any and all feelings the diagnosis may elicit, and try not to blame yourself: It would've been impossible for you to figure out a way to shield your child from autism completely. The next step is to arm yourself with all the facts about the disorder. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the more capable you'll feel about navigating the daunting autism gauntlet. That said, it's also important to give yourself a “break” from autism when it becomes too overwhelming. And if you find that the diagnosis has been so crippling that you've been unable to get past it, consider talking to a counsellor or therapist. You can't — and aren't expected to — weather this storm alone.

~Will my child be able to attend school? Most likely yes. Much depends on where your child falls on the spectrum, but with your support, as well as that of doctors, therapists and teachers, your child should be able to attend school. In fact, it's his right: According to the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1990, which mentions autistic children specifically, your child deserves access to a “free and appropriate” education funded by the government, whether it be in a mainstream or special education classroom.
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I may or may not get the daily questions from these sites, so make sure you check them. wink

~Autism Speaks

~Austism Research Institute

~Autism 101

~Autism List FAQ

~SARRC

~Autism Resources

~TEAAM
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These ribbons aren't linked to the thread, but if you want to show your support for Autism, they are small enough to add to your siggy. smile

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Feel free to use these banners to advertise this thread. smile I welcome anyone who wishes to create more banners for this event. smile

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If you want to be linked, send me a pm with your link/banner and I will be more than happy to add you.

Graceangel's Shop's Awareness thread in the shop's guild.
Bunny Luv's Autism Awareness Event
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These people are here to help me run this thread the way it should be. They can answer the Daily Question and enter any of the contests that are happening in the thread.

~ RustyRobot is the one who will answer any questions you have on Autism as well as making sure people behave in here. wink

~ Belitos will be helping in making sure people behave.

~ Danny made our beautiful banners. heart A HUGE Thank you to this wonderful and highly artistic guy who made this front page a wonderful and beautiful rainbow. Thank you Danny, you will be missed around here. heart heart heart
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My story post
MesyJessie
Now that I think about it I've actually got more than just two stories, but I will only post the two...

I first met A when I was 16. I volunteered in his mothers classroom while she taught summer school to 7-9 year olds. I thought A was one of the students because he wasn't very big and he had similar facial expressions to the students. He sat in the back of the room alone most days with a book on either the ocean or space. He kept to himself and even his own mom just let him be. The more I got to know her the more she told me about him. He was really 12 and he had Ausbergers. A didn't really like adults, but kids he was ok with. A didn't really like to deal with people and he didn't like his environment changed without being given advanced warning. She encouraged me to leave him alone unless he came up to me and to never raise my voice around him unless there was something life or death about to happen. After summer school ended his mom let me in on the fact that A really did like me, but didn't know how to approach adults. I haven't seen him since, except in photos in his mothers classroom where I still volunteer. He's 22 now and in college, living on his own with a pet cat. He's very active in environmental protests and turned out to be a rather attractive adult.

D is my cousin, when he was born there were a number of problems but the little fighter struggled through them all and became an average-in-all-ways baby and toddler. It was when he first started learning to speak that we all figured out something wasn't quite right. It took him longer to start trying to talk, he didn't even get his first rumblings of words until he was almost 4. First we thought that it was because we all talked for him because his brother had had some of the same difficulties. When we stopped talking for him, he didn't respond like his brother and start talking, D got worse. He would scream and throw things. If he wanted something that was on the table he would screech that it was on the roof, and since we all knew there was nothing on the roof we would tell him he was wrong and try to correct him. At some point his parents took him to the doctors. They thought maybe something was wrong with his hearing (he ALWAYS yelled and didn't say things "right" ). After every possible test it was decided that he had some form of autism..the specifics evade me at the moment. Aside from his screaming when he's upset D loves being held and cuddled, he touches everything and gets nose-to-nose with people when he talks to them. We affectionately call him our little tape recorder because he remembers everything anyone says about anything and can repeat it almost perfectly at will. He still has bouts of overly aggressive behavior and loud screaming (especially when he's being picked on by his older brother) but I'm happy to say as soon as he is fully potty trained he will be placed in a standard first grade class!

RustyRobot
Well, here's my story:

My name is Andrea and I'm 20 years old. I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in the year 2000, when I was 10. Until then, I was misdiagnosed with ADHD, OCD, and other things of that nature. I've been through a multitude of tests, and I've been on all sortsa different medications, but only a couple have actually worked.

My father was in the Air Force, so I moved around a lot as a child. This was hard, because it's tough enough trying to fit in in ONE elementary school, much less three or four. But that's what I knew, so it didn't really bother me at the time.

Growing up has been hard. I was bullied ever since I started school, simply for being different. In preschool, kids laughed at me because I was the only one who colored inside the lines (I would even go as far as to throw a huge fit when I got outside a tiny bit). In first grade, a group of boys used to gang up on me and beat me up (push me down on the playground, hit me, kick me, step on me, etc.). Luckily, that was the only time in my life that I was beaten up. Things didn't exactly get better, though. In some ways it did, but in other ways, it got worse. I got to high school and things were more on a psychological level--my peers were sneakier and would say mean things to me (or about me while I was sitting right there) when the teacher wasn't paying attention.

That's not to say I never had any friends. That's far from the truth. I've always had friends. I had friends in first grade and I've had friends ever since. A lot of them I only knew for about a year (since I moved a lot), and others just simply "fell off the face of the earth", so to speak. Once I moved here (to Texas, at age 9), however, I've been able to form meaningful, long-lasting friendships, since I don't have to worry about moving anymore. I've had time to cultivate relationships with people.

Academically, I'm very bright. I was mostly a straight-A student through all 12 years of school. I was usually the teacher's pet who sat in the very front of the classroom and was the first to raise my hand. I'm sure this was another reason people didn't like me lol. I tried my best to follow the rules and not make waves, but when I was provoked badly enough, I took action. I've got a bit of a temper. Usually, though, I was the one who got in trouble. I never starting anything, but I sure as hell finished things. I've pulled out chairs before the class jerk could sit down (more than once), I've grabbed girls by the hair and clunked their heads together, and I'm sure I've done a lot more than that. I don't take s**t from people. I never have. But I've learned to cope with a lotta things.

I have a 15-year-old brother named Tyler, who I love very much. He was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at around the same time I was diagnosed with Asperger's. They (school, medical professionals, etc.) asked my mother if they could test him for autism, to which she replied, "Test Andrea, too." I'm somewhat jealous of him. He was found out earlier in life than I was (he was five, and I was ten--early intervention is CRUCIAL, people), and he got the help he needed sooner. He's never been bullied or picked on in his entire life, and to be honest, is actually quite popular no matter where he goes. People are just naturally attracted to him. I'm glad he's never had to experience what I have, and I would never wish that on him, but I'm jealous all the same. I never asked for popularity--I just wanted acceptance. I tried as hard as I could to be normal. I tried to wear clothes that KINDA looked like what normal people wore (I have Sensory Integration Dysfunction--it's like my brain likes to constantly remind me that I'm wearing clothing, sitting in a chair, or that I have carpet under my feet). People always asked me why I wore dresses and skirts all the time, why I always wore sandals, etc. I'm the only person I know that will wear a satin shirt with sweat pants, sandals, and a leather jacket. It's not something I'm proud of. It's not that I don't have any fashion sense, it's that I cannot STAND to wear clothes. I use Gaia, IMVU, or anything else with a dress-up feature as an outlet, since I hate to dress myself. I express myself through avatars.

I work with special needs kids in the summertime. I've been employed by the school district every summer for the past 3 years to help students with disabilities (mostly autism) in a summer school-type setting. I've made friends with the director of special education (she was my in-home trainer when I was first diagnosed, and after that, she climbed the ladder), and I've been a guest speaker for her at a seminar or two. She taught college courses on ABA and whatnot to teachers, and had me come in to answer questions and tell my story. That was something I really enjoyed doing. I'm currently working towards a degree in special education myself, so I can help others like me, as well as help parents/teachers/friends/whoever understand what it's like to have autism. I've been nicknamed by my mom, friends, and coworkers, "The Rosetta Stone", because I act as a bridge between the "normal" and the moderately to severely autistic. I can explain what goes on in my head in a way that people understand, and they consider me a valuable resource.

I have been in relationships before. That's never really been much of a problem for me. I can function in a relationship better than a lot of people can, I'm sure. As of now, I've been seeing a really great guy for almost two years, and I can honestly say he is my soulmate (he feels the same way). He understands me more than my closest friends. I can almost go as far as saying he knows me better than my own mother does (he's getting there). He knows when I'm upset, he's good at figuring out what to do, what not to do, etc. and he's extremely patient (very important thing to be when you're in a relationship with someone with Asperger's lol). He treats my brother better than he treats his own brother, and always listens to him babble on about God knows what. He's one in a million and he's aaaaall miiiiiine. He's a HUGE part of my life and we plan to get married sometime in the near future. heart

MesyJessie
Well the only other story I've got involves my step-brothers' half-brothers. Both have some a type of autism. Both are considered mild and they attend regular classes and socially they are no more "different" than a standard teenage boy who knows something about them is 'different' from the rest. Where one will talk and talk to anyone and everyone willing to listen and knows a great deal on a variety of subjects the other is quiet and keeps to himself unless he is around people he knows. The quieter one is prone to violence when he gets frustrated, but he takes it out on inanimate objects and video games. The talkative one, when stressed talks more and at much higher volumes but even violent words don't slip past his lips unless he's talking about something where they are required (like talking about an even in a movie or game).

When I was first introduced to them I was told not to touch the toy cars/Hot Wheels that were certain to be there. These toy cars were the comfort objects (lacking a better term) of the quieter one. As long as he had his bucket of cars he would behave however he was told. If anyone but him or his mother, and even she was only allowed certain ones, touched the cars or the bucket he would freak out and it would take hours to get him to calm down along with people trying to forcibly get him to calm down (holding him down and such). A rather cruel adult started intentionally messing with the boys cars, to this day I don't know why they did it, the scene that followed is something I can't easily forget. As soon as he caught on that one if his cars had been messed with he started panicking, yelling and screaming. His face went blood red and tears started pouring down his cheeks. He looked like a child possessed as he started swinging and kicking. His father grabbed his arms and another guy grabbed his feet. I did my best not to stare, but I think I was one of the few that was trying not to look. Supposedly this was done for my benefit, so I would know not to touch the cars in the future. Honestly I knew not to touch them just for being told not to. This adult has a very cruel mean streak and I really think they were enjoying watching the boy suffer. It broke my heart to see him in such distress and I wanted to help him, but I knew there was nothing I could do. The miracle, in my eyes, was when he calmed down and was able to arrange his cars again he approached the adult and treated him as if nothing had happened.
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