Monday, February 18, 2008

Introducing AutismSpeaks

Autism speaks
Originally uploaded by forester401

As a NASCAR fan, I was watching the Daytona 500 yesterday and there, on the back of the pace car and displayed prominently throughout the day, was this beautiful blue puzzle piece. It made me smile and remember a few friends.

My buddy Mike introduced me to this symbol. He is a close personal colleague and his son Tyler has Autism. What is Autism? Here's a comprehensive definition from :

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person's lifetime. It is part of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Today, 1 in 150 individuals is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. Autism impairs a person's ability to communicate and relate to others. It is also associated with rigid routines and repetitive behaviors, such as obsessively arranging objects or following very specific routines. Symptoms can range from very mild to quite severe.

If you'd like to learn more, please visit that site. I learned a lot from my friend Mike. I also learned a lot from a young man I had in my den when I was a Cub Scout Leader. Kyle is an amazing boy. This disorder doesn't slow him down one bit. He's always involved and always excited, just like any boy his age. His Mom and Dad are devoted and patient and loving. I always smile when I think of him and his family.

I appreciate Mike taking the time to introduce me to the AutismSpeaks organization.

I hope you appreciate me introducing it to you!

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