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A SPECIALTY PUBLICATION OF THE RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH

Five

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Lacking the capacity to communicate with others is a prevalent trait. Children can’t seem to mix with and befriend other children.

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Inability to verbalize needs and wants. Autism sufferers often resort to gestures and pointing instead of using language skills to speak.

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Resistance to change. Autism sufferers insist on never breaking from their routine and strongly oppose change.

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Negative reaction to physical affection. Children with autism may resist hugging, cuddling and making eye contact; parents feel as if the child is not reciprocating their love.

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Unresponsiveness to verbal cues. Autistic children often act deaf, despite hearing tests that show their hearing is normal range.

Symptoms of Autism in Children

CDC Findings On Autism In America

It’s NATIONAL
awareness month
autism is the failure to communicate and utilize verbal cues, the puzzle pieces illustrate the sense of disconnect and frustration felt by families of autism sufferers. The variety of shapes and colors represent the diversity of people who live with and are touched by the disease in their daily lives. The ribbon unifies these puzzle pieces into one bright, cohesive whole and stands for an overarching message of hope. This hope is made possible as people join together and create a support network that increases awareness and, in turn, opens the doors to more solutions and a brighter outlook for autism than ever before. Increasingly, with earlier intervention and more appropriate treatments, autistic youths and adults are leading full and satisfying lives – in the classrooms, the workplace and, most important, in fulfilling family relationships. ❖

he statistic is staggering: 1 out of 88 children in America is affected by the prevalent spectrum of autism. To acknowledge the growing demand for both knowledge and action, the Autism Society began recognizing National Autism Awareness Month in the 1970s. (See autism-society.org for more details.)

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BY JOANNA ERNST

Each year, the United States celebrates this occasion during the month of April to shine the national spotlight on autism. This much-needed attention creates the ideal platform to promote the spread of information, from the latest medical breakthroughs to the best tips for living with the disease from early childhood into the adult years.

he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not know all of the causes of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). However, it has discovered that there are likely many causes for multiple types of ASDs. There may be many different factors that make a child more likely to have an ASD, including environmental, biologic and genetic factors. THE LATEST FINDINGS FROM THE CDC ON AUTISM INCLUDE: • About 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. • ASDs are almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 54) than among girls (1 in 252). • Studies done in 2006-2008 indicate that about 1 in 6 children in the U.S. had a developmental disability, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC.GOV

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Awareness On Adults Living With Autism
BY SUSAN CARVELL

MANY CHALLENGES FACE ADULTS WHO HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER.
Many were diagnosed as children and are aware of their condition. However, in years past, many people were not identified as autistic since knowledge of the disorder and information were not as common as they are today. It is likely that many adults are living with autism without being aware of it. Becoming familiar with the symptoms of autism can help those people find and receive the many treatment options that are available today.

strategies that mask the disorder. Having one or two of the symptoms does not necessarily indicate that a person has autism; however, an adult with more than several may want to seek out professional advice.  Inability to form or sustain close relationships  Difficulty interpreting facial expressions, gestures or other nonverbal communications  Becoming anxious over minor changes in routine or environment  Obsession with a particular subject or object  Verbal communication difficulties  Compulsively following a rigid schedule and becoming upset with changes or interruptions  Feelings of anxiety or apprehension when meeting new people or entering unfamiliar places or situations  Unusual abilities in a certain subject, such as mathematics, music or memorization

Caring for All Children

Providing empirically proven programs and services to individuals with autism and their families since 1999.
Lower School (ages 2-6) Upper School (ages 6-16) Life Skills & Employment Center (ages 16-22) Self-Management Intensive Intervention After School Program Summer Program (register by April 27!) Educational and Behavioral Assessments

NATIONAL AUTISM MONTH

The Faison School for Autism
1701 Byrd Avenue • Richmond, VA 23230 Phone: 804-612-1947 • Fax: 804-612-1955 www.thefaisonschool.org

The Faison School for Autism, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin or gender.

Symptoms of adult autism
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diagnosing autism in adults can be challenging. Undiagnosed adults many not have a complete developmental history, or may have created a complex system of coping

The area’s full-service children’s hospital.
This year, Virginia Treatment Center for Children is celebrating 50 years of treating the whole child.
804-828-CHOR (2467) “Like” us

www.rrsi.org

austism apps

For iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch BY TOUCH AUTISM
This comprehensive list of apps is a database that will be indispensible for anyone seeking knowledge of autism. Information is grouped into more than 30 categories, each offering descriptions and links to information about a particular app. Autism Apps helps to put organized information, including video demonstrations, at your fingertips and also offers reviews by specialists, parents and others with a first-hand user experience.

www.NorthstarAcademy.net
K-12 Day School for Students with Disabilities
Open Enrollment for Academic Year Summer Programs Offered Whole Student Focus — Academic, Physical & Social VAISEF Accredited Teacher-to-Student Ratio — 1:8 Specialty Programs — Transition & Social Skills Extracurricular Activities — Sports, Dances, Clubs & More
Northstar Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, age, disability, religion or national origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs and athletic or other agency administered programs.
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Northstar Academy

Connecting supporters to this important cause, the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon has become the standard symbol associated with the disease. The puzzle pattern reflects the enigmatic nature of autism as well as the complexity of the autistic spectrum. Since a predominant characteristic of

Autism prevalence is now 1 in 88 children; 1 in 54 boys
CDC, March 29, 2012

Stop by for a visit today! Call (804) 747-1003 Northstar Academy 8055 Shrader Road • Richmond, VA 23294

The Weinstein JCC Voices Together summer Camp

Autism Awareness Day
Discounted ticket price of $31.99 online (or group sales on the day of the event for $34.99). Get your tickets at www.ASACV.org, by clicking on the “Buy Tickets” button. Meet & Greet the Autism Society of Central VA under the Eiffel Tower 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. For questions call 804-876-5362 or email events@ kingsdominion.com.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Today’s Integration of Autistic Children
ecause autistic children are impaired in their ability to communicate and socialize, many programs exist to segregate autistic children from others and focus on specialized education, sometimes one-on-one instruction. However, due to educational budget cuts, many autistic children are now integrated right into the regular classroom. Whether this is better or worse for all students involved is debatable, but teachers can implement steps that will make the process more successful for the whole classroom. Teachers should follow a rigid schedule, since autistic children benefit from knowing what is going to happen next. A chart can list a daily schedule to follow, including study times, lunch time, recess and other activities. If any changes occur to the schedule, educators should provide plenty of advanced warning. Clear language without idioms also helps to avoid confusion and reinforce a well-structured routine. Fostering a positive learning environment is another classroom essential. Teachers should establish a quiet place the autistic child can go in moments of overstimulation or frustration. This is a comforting place where he or she can regroup before rejoining the class. Various means to present lessons, such as pictures, words and modeling with other students, can help ensure clarity, along with repeating instructions

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A structured, integrated, recreational camp experience for campers with autism Ages 5-12 July 30 – August 3 August 6 – 10
(must be enrolled in high school)

May 26, 2012, 8 a.m.
804.257.0192 www.ascv5k.com

Variety of activities including swimming, arts & craft and games Our campers are supervised by trained staff Teen volunteers round out the camp population

Ages 13+

August 13 – 17

A unique environment to help children with complex needs
• Autism care and treatment • Pediatric and adolescent • Tandem treatment of physical and emotional issues
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Contact Melissa Bunce, Weinstein JCC special Needs Director at 545-8658 or mbunce@weinsteinjcc.org

www.weinsteinjcc.org

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9407 Cumberland Road, New Kent, VA 23124

800.368.3472 cumberlandhospital.com

and making the child’s seat a distractionfree, well-organized area. Teachers should make sure the other students are aware of the autistic child’s special needs and that teasing will not be tolerated. Enforcing rules like taking turns and sharing can help integrate autistic children into the regular classroom –a good start toward building social skills. ❖
METRO CREATIVE

“Our son is not the same little boy after participating in Special Olympics. He is stronger, steadier, and more independent. As parents, we are humbled by your gift.”

www.specialolympicsva.org

JOIN US! 1-800-932-4653

The Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) is a non-profit organization providing a year-round day school for children ages 2 to 22 and educational resources for families, educators and other professionals seeking evidence-based services, training or information about autism.

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Virginia Institute of Autism

Creating a world of possibilities… one child at a time
School & Home-Based Services Training & Consultation Library & Resource Center
Charlottesville, Virginia • 434.923.8252 • www.viaschool.org

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Here are some online resources to help you understand autism.

ONLINERESOURCES
ani.ac asacv.org autism.com autism-society.org autismtoday.com autismspeaks.org autismsciencefoundation.org autismresearchinstitute.com asatonline.org

aspergersyndrome.org autcom.org autism-resources.com autismweb.com autismva.org cdc.gov/autism nationalautismassociation.org virginiaautismproject.com

6818 W. Grace Street Richmond,VA 23226 Phone: 804-355-1011 Email: dominionschoolforautism@yahoo.com www.dominionschoolforautism.org

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