April 2: Light It Up Blue – National Autism Awareness Month

Wear “blue”  on April 2 in support of Autism Awareness.

Go to Light it Up Blue for more info.
Teaching children with autism is an awesome experience!  True, it is challenging and sometimes puzzling (thus the “puzzle piece”), but it is so rewarding to work with these precious children.  Being able to connect with them, to encourage their language development and then see them using language on their own in the classroom and at home without any prompting makes me, those I work with, and their parents want to celebrate.  We are so happy at each milestone, no matter how small.

If you have ever been around children with autism, you will probably notice their lack of communication skills and lack of eye contact.  Usually, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to connect with you.  It just means that you need to learn how to connect with them!  And I fully believe it is worth every effort!

It is estimated that approximately one million U.S. children and teens are affected by autism.   Boys are five times more likely to have autism than girls.   There is a lot of debate about what causes autism, and no one knows for sure.  It is definitely puzzling!  

A few people with autism have shared more than any research has ever revealed.  Temple Grandin has given tremendous insight into autism.  There is a wonderful movie about her life, “Temple Grandin,” which won seven Emmy Awards and gives the viewer a window into the mind of Grandin.  I’ve watched it four times and want to see it again.  Even my husband, our college-age son, and my mother-in-law really liked it.  My husband ranked it as one of the best movies he’s seen.   I highly recommend it!

Also, there is a fairly new book, I Am in Here: The Journey of a Child with Autism Who Cannot Speak but Finds Her Voice, which was released October 2011 and gives great insight into a young girl with autism.  Speaking through poetry she has written, Elizabeth has typed her thoughts which were not sharable by audible words.  These valuable insights are a great blessing!

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