What is a Betty?

Betty is the term used to describe an amazing person who you can depend on. Betty is also a term for "sweet and loving girl." The more you get to know her, the more you love being around her. She has a good sense of humor and has a cute laugh. She's chill yet hard working as well as kind and considerate. Betty lights up the room and lights up my life. She's always happy and cheerful. She's also cuddly, independent and smart. She appreciates the simple things in life and can make anything good out of a bad situation. -Urban Dictionary

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April Is Autism Awareness Month!

Bringing attention to autism this month is near and dear to out hearts. Stacie has first hand experience, as she is raising a son with autism.  Her middle son Tuck, age 11, was diagnosed when he was 4 years old.

Stacie: Raising a child with autism has been a tremendous reward in my life.  However, when the doctors first gave me the diagnosis, fear of the unknown set in.  I did everything I could to learn more about it and get him the help he needed.  Now, 7 years later, he is doing so well, enjoying life to the fullest.  I don't worry about tomorrow and just focus on today.  He has amazing talent and has come so far.  He brings laughter and joy to our lives;  he helps me see the world from a different perspective.  I'm truly grateful that God chose me to by his mom.  I cannot wait to see what he accomplishes in life!

There is so much information out there on autism now, compared to a decade ago when Tuck was diagnosed...and it is truly inspiring to see the research going into understanding it.  Here are just a few facts you may or may not know about this disorder highlighted from Autism Facts at about.com.

1. Autism Is a 'Spectrum' Disorder
People with autism can be a little autistic or very autistic. Thus, it is possible to be bright, verbal, and autistic as well as mentally retarded, non-verbal and autistic.

2. Asperger Syndrome is a High Functioning Form of Autism
Asperger Syndrome (AS) is considered to be a part of the autism spectrum. The only significant difference between AS and High Functioning Autism is that people with AS usually develop speech right on time while people with autism usually have speech delays. 

3. People With Autism Are Different from One Another
If you've seen Rainman or a TV show about autism, you may think you know what autism "looks like." In fact, though, when you've met one person with with autism you've met ONE person with autism.

4. There Are Dozens of Treatments for Autism - But No 'Cure'
So far as medical science is aware, there is at present no cure for autism. That's not to say that people with autism don't improve, because many improve radically. But even when people with autism increase their skills, they are still autistic, which means they think and perceive differently from most people. 

5. There Are Many Theories on the Cause of Autism, But No Consensus
You may have seen or heard news stories about possible causes of autism. Theories range from mercury in infant vaccines to genetics to the age of the parents to almost everything else. 

6. Children Rarely "Outgrow" Autism
Autism is ausually lifelong diagnosis. For some people, often (but not always) those who receive intensive early intervention, symptoms may decrease radically. People with autism can also learn coping skills to help them manage their difficulties and even build on their unique strengths. But a person with autism will probably be autistic throughout their lives.
7. Families Coping with Autism Need Help and Support
Even "high functioning" autism is challenging for parents. "Low functioning" autism can be overwhelming to the entire family. Families may be under a great deal of stress, and they need all the non-judgemental help they can get from friends, extended family, and service providers.

8. There's No 'Best School' for a Child with Autism
You may have heard of a wonderful "autism school," or read of a child doing amazingly well in a particular type of classroom setting. While any given setting may be perfect for any given child, every child with autism has unique needs. Even in an ideal world, "including" a child with autism in a typical class may not be the best choice. Decisions about autistic education are generally made by a team made up of parents, teachers, administrators and therapists who know the child well.

9. There Are Many Unfounded Myths About Autism
The media is full of stories about autism, and many of those stories are less than accurate. For example, you may have heard that people with autism are cold and unfeeling, or that people with autism never marry or hold productive jobs. Since every person with autism is different, however, such "always" and "never" statements simply don't hold water.

10. Autistic People Have Many Strengths and Abilities
It may seem that autism is a wholly negative diagnosis. But almost everyone on the autism spectrum has a great deal to offer the world. People with autism are among the most forthright, non-judgemental, passionate people you'll ever meet.

1 in 88. No way.  This boy is one in a million!

We look forward to sharing the many adventures of Tuck and his buddies here on the blog!
Thanks for stopping by today!

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