Educating About Autism

Image from communitynewspapers.com

Image from communitynewspapers.com

We love getting letters from other Daily Concepters out there. Each and every one of them touches us to the core.

Just such a letter hit out inbox this week:

Hi,

I have Asperger’s Syndrome, but I’m not letting it stop me! My name is Allie and I am part high school student, part volunteer-intern-extraordinaire here at EducatorLabs, where I’m getting to help with research and now a bit of outreach!  

I’m lucky enough to get work experience, but I know not everyone else with Asperger’s and other autistic disorders is so lucky and gets to live such an active life.  I get self-conscious around people sometimes though I love to write, but over time I’ve been coming out of my shell by trying new things.  I want others to do the same!  

I’m trying to put together resources to help empower others with autism to be confident, social, and able to overcome their obstacles.  My goal is to hear back from 25 people, and then I can get credit for volunteering.

I’m excited to share what I’ve found so far in hopes that your visitors would find them useful, too.

Thanks!

Allie

Allie Gleason | a.gleason@educatorlabs.org

http://educatorlabs.org/ | Cultivating. Connecting. Curating.

2054 Kildaire Farm Rd. #204 | Cary, NC | 27518

Allie sent all sorts of fantastic information our way. We’re going to be sharing various portions of it with you over the next several week.

We also hope you’ll give Allie a shout-out so she can get credit for her volunteer work. You can reach her via email here: a.gleason@educatorlabs.org

We think you’re great, Allie!

Image from s63.photobucket.com

Image from s63.photobucket.com

Now, about that info… To get things started:

What is autism?

Autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) 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 (sometimes referred to as “classic autism”), 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 has its roots in early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 12 and 18 months of age. Some infants and toddlers begin develop normally until the second year of life, when they lose skills and develop autism – a pattern called “regression.” Autism Speaks continues to fund research on effective methods for earlier diagnosis, as early intervention with proven behavioral therapies can improve outcomes. Increasing autism awareness is a key aspect of this work and one in which our families and volunteers play an invaluable role.

We’ll be bringing you more information soon. If you’d like more in the meantime, visit http://educatorlabs.org/ .

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