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Spotlight

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Sometimes you are minding your own business, when a split second encounter sneaks up and threatens to knock you off balance. Two pretty girls, shopping at the grocery store before heading off to college, catch a glimpse of your handsome 21-year-old son. At that moment, he is standing still and straight – not walking in his signature jerky gait, elbows flapping at his side … not biting the back of his arm in frustration because he can’t verbalize the thoughts in his head … not flicking his wrists back and forth in rapid-fire motion. For that moment, those two girls see him as a potential date, a potential boyfriend, a potential husband. And just for that moment, an entire parallel life for him flashes before your eyes.  

He starts walking; they realize the situation; and you scramble to regain your balance.  

Moment over. Ever onward! 

 

 

 

 


AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER

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“Autism” (or “autism spectrum disorder” also known as “ASD”) refers to a disorder currently diagnosed through symptoms, which involve difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.

 

Until the May 2013 publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual, the autism spectrum included five distinct subgroups: autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome. Under DSM-5, all autism disorders are merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD.

 

Autism affects all racial, ethnic, and socio-enomic groups. However, it is 4-5 times more likely in boys than in girls.

 

Symptoms for autism typically appear between 10-18 months of age. Unfortunately, the average age of diagnosis is 4-years-old. A diagnosis is usually made by a developmental pediatrician. Typically, there is a waiting list for appointments to get this diagnosis.

 

The rate of autism has increased dramatically over the past two decades. When Project HOPE Foundation first started, the rate was 1 in 2,500. The current rate is 1 in 68 children, 1 in 42 boys. Although we now have better diagnostics and increased awareness, these improvements do not account for the marked increase.

 

About 33% of individuals with autism are nonverbal. Thankfully, many can be taught to communicate in other ways, including augmentative communication devices.

 

It is estimated that 50% of individuals with autism elope (wander away).  It is imperative to work on safety skills with this population.

 

People with autism have an increased risk of seizures. Additionally, many experience gastrointestinal issues, sleep disorders, sensory processing difficulties, and food sensitivities.


News & Events

Thank you to all who made our annual Evening of Hope Gala and Hope Invitational Golf Tournament another tremendous success. Click here for Evening of Hope photos.

 


EMPTY INK AND TONER CARTRIDGES =
FUNDING FOR SERVICES

We are excited to be working with US Recycling to benefit the environment and support our programs.   We are seeking corporate sponsors to donate and recycle empty ink and toner cartridges on our behalf. We will earn cash for qualifying ink and toner cartridges that are returned to US Recycling. If you are interested in supporting this project, click here to email us or click here to register online to donate.

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