What do you feel when you read this statistic? Does it elicit any emotion? What thoughts come up? Does it prompt you to ask the questions why and what can I do to help? I hope so because this has long since been a hidden epidemic. Autism now affects 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. alone and is a rapidly growing public health issue. These statistics grab my attention and with today World Autism Awareness Day, I challenge you to think about what these statistics mean to you.
Ignoring the statistics or arguing about whom to blame won't solve the problem. I believe if we listen we will find the answers.
The time to listen is now.
Children affected by autism have important lessons to teach us…VERY IMPORTANT! They will not be ignored. They encompass the answers. I believe our job is to listen to them and if they don't have words, listen to what their bodies and behaviors communicate.
As a mother raising a non-verbal child with autism, I have my theories. One, that our environment has increasingly become more toxic and exposing our unborn children in the womb to the increased level of toxins and chemicals we breathe and ingest affects the overall system development of a baby. Our food products are filled with chemicals and ingredients I can't pronounce and we share the air with the entire world.
So, what can you do? I offer three suggestions to consider.
- Take action. Support organizations and researchers that are looking for answers. Support them financially, as a volunteer, as an activist...whatever feels right for you.
- Offer your support to a family. If you know a family with a child with autism, ask them what you can do to help.
- Get Creative. Think about what you can do to get involved in finding answers. Turn your focus towards this issue and start paying attention to increase your awareness. Listen to what you hear and discern what feels true and what doesn't. Initiate conversations, ask questions.
And if you are a parent raising a child with autism I send you love and gratitude for all that you do to support and love your child through this journey with autism. You are the lynchpin for change. Together, we can be the voice for our children that is heard worldwide.
A list of the organizations I support .
www.defeatautismnow.org Autism Research Institute DAN! www.taca.org Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) www.generationrescue.org Generation Rescue www.autismone.org Autism One, a non-profit, charity organization started by a small group of parents with children with autism. www.iahp.org Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential www.autismtreatmentcenter.org Teaching center for the Son-Rise Program www.masgutovamethod.com Svetlana Masgutova Educational Institute, The Masgutova Neuro-sensory-motor Reflex Integration (MNRI) Method Commonweal Health and Environment Program www.php.com Parents Helping Parents, a support organization in San Jose, CA for parents of special needs children www.americanpersonalrights.org American Rally for Personal Rights, Vaccination choice. Parental consent.
I’d love to hear from you the organizations you think are making a difference. Please join me in the quest to find answers.