Monday, March 31

April is International Autism Awareness Month

April 2, 2008 is International Autism Awareness Day!

April is special to me because it is Autism Awareness Month and I love someone with autism. My oldest grandson, Brandon, is high functioning autistic. Brandon has Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum.

The word "spectrum" as used in this instance refers to a continum of severity of developmental impairment." Those who suffer from disorders on the autism spectrum have problems with communication and socialization that are similar but the conditions range over a very wide spectrum. Severity can range from very mild to extremely severe.

When people speak of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) they are usually referring to the three most common, which are:

* Asperger's Disorder: aka Asperger's Syndrome or AS.

* Autistic Disorder: classic autism.

* PDD-NOS: Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

Adults and children who suffer from ASDs all have difficulty with communication and social interaction in varying degrees. They can also suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and form attachments to odd things or have unusual routines, which could best be described as rituals. They also often do things repetatively and hoard. No two people with ASD acts or responds exactly the same when put into circumstances that are identical. Each individual has his/her own unique symptoms and responses.

There are five Pervasive Developmental Disorders. They are:

* Asperger's Syndrome.

* Autistic Disorder.

* Childhood Disintegrative Disorder aka CDD

* PDD-NOS, as described above.

* Rhett's Disorder.

Here are a few statistics:

Asperger's Syndrome - This is quite common. 15,000 Canadians suffer from this disorder and possibly even more. Asperger's Syndrome, though discovered in 1939, by Hans Asperger, wasn't recognized in North America until the mid 1990s. This means that hundreds of adults may suffer from the disorder and not know it. Asperger's Syndrome can affect both boys and girls, but is more prominent in boys.

Autistic Disorder - Very common. 73,000 Canadians have Autistic Disorder.

CDD - Rare. Only 500 Canadians have Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.

PDD-NOS - Common. 47,000 Canadians.

Rhett's Disorder - Rare. Only 3,150 Canadians have been diagnosed with Rhett's. My great-niece has it, though only a very mild case. Rhett's Disorder can affect both boys and girls but is more prominent in girls.

Other Related Conditions:

* Tourette's Syndrome.

* Down Syndrome.

* Landau-Kleffner Syndrome.

* Prader-Willi Syndrome.

If you would like more information on autism:

Autism Society of America

Canadian Autism Society

Autism Ontario

Autism Treatment Services of Canada

There will be an Autism Ontario Art Auction at St. Lawrence Hall, Toronto on Wednesday May 21, 2008. For more information, please click HERE.

Have a wonderful week and please, educate yourself about autism. Those living with it need your understanding and prayers. ~Blessings, Mary~


  1. A very informative post Mary, thank you for sharing.

  2. thank you Mary, for sharing this information...I understand that there is thought now that Autism may be linked in some way to childhood vaccinations...did you see any connection to Brandon's Autism development to his vaccinations?
    (if this is too personal do not answer me)

  3. Something you said and if you don't mind asking, when you said some hoard, could that be the reason I see some folks with their vehicles filled to almost overflowing with trash? Some folks have apartments that look the same way? Is that because of Autism do you think?

  4. I have been trying to learn some more about autism, particularly Asperger's syndrome. I hope awareness is raised among the population over the month.

  5. This was once again a very informative blog entry. I used to go to the Down Syndrome time seeing Chris Burke [a tv star who has Down's]. I'm really not even aware of when or where or IF they have anything remotely close to what they have in Colorado.

    Great post.

    Come over if you can, celebrate one special April Fool that I have....a birthday celebration. Yep, my fool born on this day 39 years ago.

  6. Thanks for the information in this post, Mary. I for one have to admit I know very little about autism and the spectrum they use to define the disorders. Have a blessed day!

  7. Excellent and informative post, Mary. I'm thrilled that autism is becoming more recognized and people are becoming aware! Thanks for this post! Hugs, Debi

  8. Thanks for sharing this very much needed information my friend. I am keeping Brandon in my prayers. I love you my friend.

  9. Mary
    Loved the sugar bush trip. Thank you for sharing your knowledge on Autism. Just like all else, the more we know the better we will become. Take care Peace

  10. Thanks Mary for providing the information to others. My son Andrew is 22 and is also one of high funtioning. Sadly though is how they are unable to interact well, he really wants a girlfriend! Poor guy, I always tell him he'll find one when he least expects it! Love,Lori Wish me luck Thursday i get my first back injections!

  11. Good Afternoon Mary,
    I enjoyed reading the information you gave us on Autism. I had seen the banner on Glitter Graphics earlier this morning when I was doing my post. I had never heard of the Autism your Grandson had before until I came to know you. I have heard of and seen children with Down Syndrome's many a times. I also ready your post about the Sugar Bush. I really enjoyed that post as well. There is a place about 40 miles from where we live and every year the School here take the 3rd and 5th graders for educational purposes. It is fixed up like an old time village from days gone by as well. They make maple syrup there and you can even buy some to bring home. I went last year when the girls went on their field trip to the place. It is called Parker Pioneer Homestead. They even pop kettle corn like they used to years ago. They also have a General Store where you can buy things and they also have a place where you can watch them and also buy brooms. It is a really neat place and I always enjoy going there and seeing things from days gone by. The School always has the kids to bring a picnic lunch and we all sit on the ground and eat our lunch. Last year they had added some picnic tables and we sat at the picnic tables and had our lunch. The Website is called: if you would like to visit it sometime. They also show you how lye soap is made and you can buy it also. The rain has finally quit for today and the Sun is trying to come out now. Rain is back in the forecast again for tomorrow night and on Thursday. Take care my friend and have a great day. May God Bless You and Yours.

    Love & Hugs,
    Karen H.

  12. As usual you have given me knowledge that I did not have.. having never know anyone with Autism I knew nothing about how it effected people... With your grandson having the high functioning autism and with the love and the support group he has around him... (his grandmother for one) I pray that he grows to be happy and capable of interaction with society... and that disease does not hold him back one second of his life.......