Miss A Columnist

Laureen Botticelli is a happily married to her high school sweetheart, and work at home mom of three, twin four year old boys and the littlest man Nico, age two. She is a baby planner and the owner of Bump, Baby,& Beyond by Kiddie Loot. She writes the mommy blog, The Momccupation. Laureen is a San Diego native who just moved back after teaching Family and Consumer Science and Health Science in Las Vegas for five years. She has a Master's in education and BA from San Diego State University, and loves teaching new moms.

April Is Autism Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Day was April 2nd and here we are, not knowing much more about the disorder then we did a few years ago.

Did you know that Autism affects 1 in every 88 Children?And 1 in approximately 50 boys according to the CDC.  Yes, and there is nothing we can do about this disability yet.

Photo Credit: Autism Awareness Logo

Autism is one of those disorders that has little known about the direct causes of it. You have a perfectly healthy baby or toddler one minute and then regression the next. Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD is where there are number of different issues in the brain causing differing levels of “Autistic” disabilities ranging from sensory disorders, emotional or  Social  disorders; as well as from very gifted to severely challenged according to the CDC. When you look at someone who has autism you would never know they have a disorder, some signs are very slight others are very prominent. They don’t look any different then everyone else which gives them a advantage over some disabilities and judgements many face on a day to day basis. I have the knowledge of learning first had about autism from my brother who has a slight version or is “high functioning”. Still very difficult because he is very ridgid, schedules must be kept or he falls off the wagon so to speak. It is so hard to describe. As a mother I could not imagine how hard it can be to have a child with autism.

Just Monday, Pediatrics released a study that says that there may be a link to obesity during pregnancy can increase the chances from 1 in 88 to a startling 1 in 53 chance according to the authors. The National Institute for Health helped fund the study. The CDC says the key to helping children with autism is early detection. Children may start to show signs of autism any where from 18- 24 months but cannot be fully diagnosed until 4 or 5 years of age when their brains are better developed.

What do you need to look for to help you with early detection?

  • May avoid eye contact
  • prefers to be alone
  • Spins objects or self
  • Echos words or phrases
  • Difficulty interacting with others
  • Insistence on sameness
  • extreme attachments to objects
  • Inappropriate laughing or giggling
  •  not want cuddling
  • Difficulty in expressing needs; may use gestures
  • Inappropriate response or no response to sound
  • No real fear of dangers
  • Apparent insensitivity to pain
  • Sustained unusual or repetitive play

The signs can be detected together or alone. As you can see this can be hard to diagnose and difficult for many parents  as well.

Over one half million people in the U.S. today have autism or some form of  developmental disorder. Its prevalence rate makes autism one of the most common developmental disabilities. And yet with movies like Rainman, we think that autism is very different.  Many don’t fully understand the disorder and parents refuse to recognize the signs. Parents lets not be afraid by ASD learn about it and help make a difference.

Check out these links below and see how you can help and learn more:

Autism Speaks 

Autism Society

The Color of Autism

Autism Today








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