Opinion

Good reason to go blue

The Government of Canada, in conjunction with other governments worldwide, has declared April 2, 2014 National Autism Awareness Day.  In keeping with this day there is a unique global initiative “Light It Up Blue” that is dedicated to raising awareness of Autism.

Iconic landmarks around the world Light It up Blue in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day to show their support. Several landmarks here in Canada, including BC Place and Niagara Falls just to name a couple, Light It Up Blue.

A letter has been given to the City of Castlegar to request that they Light It Up Blue at the City Hall building on April 2, 2014.

There are numerous children and adults within Canada who have been or may not have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). There are many more who are awaiting diagnosis due to the current backlog in the medical system.

The signs of Autism vary greatly depending where in the spectrum the person is categorized. Autism is characterized by weaknesses in communication skills and social interaction, along with abnormal responses to sensations. This leads, tragically, to children with delayed and compromised language and speech abilities, repetitive motor mannerisms and tics, preoccupation with objects, and often dysfunctional ways of relating to events or people. In rare instances, an autistic child can demonstrate an astonishing brilliance in a narrow specialized field, such as mathematics, music or art.

Autism is not a contagious disease. To date there is no known cause for autism. There is no cure for autism.   People with autism currently need the skills taught to them about how to cope with their sensory issues. A fairly large number are able to control their sensory events and live what appear to be normal lives. Tragically, others will have to be looked after by their families or the greater community throughout their lives.

Last year, 2013, the statistics (autism speaks.ca) stated that one in every 110 children has autism. This year, 2014, the statistics state that one in every 88 children has autism. Among boys, the ratio is one in 54

 

-John Shirley

“Different Not Less”

Castlegar

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