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Filtering by Tag: autism

World Autism Awareness Day

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“It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a child with autism to raise the consciousness of that village.” – Elaine Hall

World Autism Day – Light It Up Blue

Happy April, everyone! Spring has finally sprung and I couldn’t be happier about it. A new month means new awareness observances and awareness holidays. April has a lot of important awareness observances. Choosing which causes to discuss can be difficult when so many causes are worthy topics. To be comprehensive and educational, I have chosen to focus on one subject per post. As the years go on, every month will feature different causes than the year before. Over time each cause will get the attention it deserves.

Today I want to talk about Autism, in honor of Autism Awareness Month, World Autism Awareness Day & Light It Up Blue. Both holidays take place tomorrow (April 2nd). Before we get started, I want to give you guys a little background on World Autism Awareness Day and Light It Up Blue.

The History of World Autism Awareness Day.

In 2007, the United Nations voted to make April 2nd a universal day to promote awareness for Autism. In 2008, the first annual World Autism Awareness Day was celebrated. The United Nations dedicates itself to ensuring that the human rights of all people are honored. It is important for the UN to recognize Autism because it can affect learning, development, and communication. If a person with Autism has difficulty with any or all of those functions, it will impact the freedom and equality they receive.

Various therapies are used to treat Autism. The outcome is influenced by how soon the treatment is started. Access to Autism therapies can be determined by location and socio-economic status. This creates inequality for people with Autism living in places without access, or those without means. The United Nations dedicates itself to combatting inequality through policy and resources. Their goal is to create a world where someone with Autism has equal rights regardless of their limitations.

What does Light It Up Blue mean?

World Autism Awareness Day and Light It Up Blue are designed to raise awareness for ASD (autism spectrum disorders). This includes Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD – NOS). Light It Up Blue is an annual campaign held on World Autism Awareness Day. It uses the color blue to spread the message of awareness and acceptance worldwide. Every April 2nd, iconic landmarks around the world are lit up with blue lights to signify support for the Autism community.

Light It Up Blue is sponsored by an organization called Autism Speaks. The chairman of General Electric founded Autism Speaks in 2005. He and his wife founded the organization after their grandson was diagnosed with Autism. That connection may have been the inspiration behind the campaign. General Electric’s most iconic product is the light bulb. LIUB uses blue light bulbs to turn structures and buildings blue. Coincidence? I doubt it.

ASD. What Does Being On The Spectrum Mean?

First, let's talk about what being "on the spectrum" means. Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), has a wide range of symptoms. Someone with Autism may experience any, all, or a combination of these symptoms to varying degrees. Combinations of symptoms and the severity of those symptoms can vary drastically from patient to patient. Autism is referred to as a spectrum because of the wide range of symptoms. No two patients are exactly the same.

Personalized Autism Awareness Ribbon

Personalized Autism Awareness Ribbon

The Basics of Autism.

Autism is a neurobehavioral condition. It can affect development, communication skills, sensory processing, social skills, and more. Each person on the spectrum may exhibit different combinations of symptoms with varying degrees of severity. The severity of the symptoms affects what kind of limitations they experience.

Autism typically becomes apparent as children fail to reach developmental milestones. These occur during the first three years of their life. Some children can begin to shows signs as infants, but most symptoms become clear between 18 to 36 months old. Parents commonly describe their child as developing normally until around that time. Then they began to exhibit symptoms. Sometimes, symptoms may not arise until circumstances force them to the surface. This means that symptoms may go unnoticed until later than usual when a particular situation makes them appear.

People with Autism tend to have a difficult time processing different kinds of sensory stimulation. This may manifest as sensitivity to light, sound, touch, or smell. It can range from feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable to complete intolerance.

Autistic people may also experience some degree of cognitive impairment. This is in comparison to neuro-typical cognitive function. People with Autism tend to have delays or deficits in certain areas of development but not all. Cognitive impairment usually affects all areas, but people with Autism tend to show issues in only some areas. In contrast to their impairment, they may develop exceptional skills in other areas. This can show up as musical talent, memorization skills, an aptitude for math, and more.

Autism can also affect behavior. One behavior associated with Autism is repetitive movement, like rocking or pacing. In some cases, these repetitive movements can be self-injurious. They may develop attachments to certain objects. Narrow interests and obsessions with certain subjects are common. They may also be fearful or resistant to change. Change in routine can be especially difficult. Many parents of ASD children bond over their shared experiences with trying to get their child to try new foods or activities.

What Causes Autism?

While Autism is on the rise, it is not clear why. It may be from an increase in awareness or it may be that the incidence of the disorder is actually increasing. Autism is not caused by race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, lifestyle, geographic location, sex, or any other classification. Boys are more likely to develop Autism than girls. Some speculate that this is because girls with Autism are not diagnosed even though they may have it. It is believed that there are more girls with Autism than the statistics suggest. Socio-economic status does not cause Autism, but it can affect treatment and prognosis. The earlier someone with Autism begins treatment, the better the long-term outcome. A family’s inability to pay for such treatments may have a lasting effect on an Autistic person. Geographic location can be a factor if the family lives in remote or rural areas. Treatment facilities may be scarce or non-existent in less populated areas.

Autism appears to have a genetic component. It tends to run in families, although no specific genes have been identified yet. Researchers believe it may have something to do with irregular segments of genetic code or specific gene mutations. Whatever the genetic association is, it's clear that it can run in families. Another genetic factor is the age of the parents. The older the parents are, the higher the risk for the child.

Personalized Puzzle Pieces Awareness Ribbon for Autism

Personalized Puzzle Pieces Awareness Ribbon for Autism

What Are the Treatment Options Available for ASD?

Treatment options vary depending on the symptoms. There is a spectrum of treatment options to match the spectrum of symptoms. Treatments include behavioral and communications therapies, occupational therapy, sensory integration therapy. There are also medications to treat associated symptoms. Keep in mind there is no cure for Autism, and there are no medications developed specifically to treat it. Let’s dig into each of these therapy options a little.

There are quite a few behaviors and communication treatments when it comes to ASD. Each treatment uses different techniques to engage with the child and encourage learning. The type of therapy depends on which works best for that child. One of the most common is called Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). ABA works to improve good behaviors and reduce bad ones using various techniques. This includes positive reinforcement, motivation, and communication skill development.

Another type of behavior and communication therapy is referred to as “Floor-time”. Floor-time is exactly what it sounds like. It involves getting on the floor with your child to interact with them doing the things they like. The intention is to build and encourage emotional skills, which stimulate intellectual growth.

There are two types of treatments that involve visual cues. The first is called TEACCH, which stands for Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-handicapped Children. The second is called PECS, which stands for Picture Exchange Communication System. The difference between the two is that TEACCH uses picture cards to teach, while PECS uses symbols.

Occupational therapy teaches children with ASD life skills. Occupational therapy helps them develop, maintain, or restore independence through skill development. These skills allow them to overcome obstacles that keep them from performing daily activities.

Sensory Integration Therapy helps children whose symptoms include sensory processing issues. Sensory Integration Therapy works by taking stimuli that a child is sensitive to and slowly exposing them to it in a controlled setting. Over time the child will acclimate to these stimuli so that they can function better.

Last, but not least, there are some medications that are used to help treat different kinds of issues that people with Autism can experience. There is a link between Autism and seizure disorders. One of the medications used to treat people with Autism and seizures is seizure medication. Other issues associated with Autism are trouble concentrating, depression and anxiety, and insomnia. These symptoms can be treated using medications. Risperdal has been FDA approved to treat irritability in people with Autism.

How Can I Help?

The biggest thing you can do to help those with Autism is to be supportive and understanding. Sometimes when kids with Autism get overwhelmed they have what is called a "meltdown". It's important to understand that children having a meltdown are suffering, not misbehaving. It is equally important to recognize that this is not related to a parenting issue. Parents often feel judged when their kids experience a meltdown in public. The root issue is a lack of understanding and awareness, not a shortcoming on the part of the parents or the child. People are quick to say, "if that were my kid…" followed by how they would handle the situation. It is unfair to the people involved and it perpetuates the judgment they experience.

Another way you can help is by educating yourself and others about Autism. Become an advocate for people affected by Autism with a universal symbol of support. Awareness ribbons are a simple yet powerful way to raise awareness. Awareness nurtures support, and support leads to more fundraising and more research. The awareness ribbon used to raise awareness for Autism is the puzzle pieces ribbon.

You can also help raise money by holding your own fundraiser. Donate the proceeds to the Autism organization of your choice. April 2nd is the perfect day to host a blue-themed bake sale to celebrate Light It Up Blue. If bake sales aren’t your thing, you can host a craft booth with old puzzle pieces. Paint the pieces white, grab some colorful sharpies and charge per puzzle piece. Crafts not really your thing either? No problem. Here's an easy one I came up with; Find a wall, make a blue backdrop for it, grab some blue accessories and boom! You've got yourself a Light It Up Blue themed photo-booth. Charge per photo, and don't forget to share it on social media using the hashtag #LIUB. If you prefer something more traditional, buy some puzzle pieces fabric awareness ribbons in bulk and resell them at a higher cost. Take the profits and donate them to the organization of your choice.

That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading! Be sure to check back soon for my next post. And, HAPPY AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH!

Sources: Autism Speaks,, NIMH, WebMD

Autism Awareness Month

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April is Autism Awareness Month!

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis/intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes.

Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills’ and sensory sensitivities. Again, a person on the spectrum might follow many of these behaviors or just a few, or many others besides. The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is applied based on analysis of all behaviors and their severity.

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their ADDM autism prevalence report. The report concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 68 births in the United States – nearly twice as great as the 2004 rate of 1 in 125 – and almost 1 in 54 boys.

•Lack of or delay in spoken language
•Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
•Little or no eye contact
•Lack of interest in peer relationships
•Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
•Persistent fixation on parts of objects

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#autism #autismawareness #autismawarenessmonth #asd #spectrum #autismspeaks #lib #lightitupblue #autismfamily #autistic #autistickidsrock #children #kids #development #awareness #sensoryprocessingdisorder #pickyeater #love #asan #personalizedcause

Invisible Disability Awareness Week

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Yesterday marked the first day of Invisible Disabilities Awareness Week!

Each year, people with invisible disabilities and their loved ones come together for Invisible Disabilities Week, a time to educate the general population about the challenges they face and the progress society still needs to make towards acceptance.

It’s a time to break down the belief that people with invisible disabilities are “exaggerating” or “faking” their symptoms, and start a discussion about what inclusion really means. So this week, the community works to raise awareness of their invisible conditions and how their conditions affect their lives, as well as offer their recommendations for how to make the world a more inclusive place.

(Content: Erin Migdol via Image:

#invisibleillness #invisibledisability #invisibledisabilities #invisibledisabilitiesawarenessweek #spoonies #arthritis #fibro #fibromyalgia #mentalillness #depression #anxiety #pots #autoimmune #crohns #deaf #hearingimpaired #spectrumdisorder #autism #learningdisabilities #diabetes #diabetic

Autistic Pride Day

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Happy Autistic Pride Day!

Welcome back everyone! Thanks for keeping up with the Personalized Cause awareness blog this week; I know it’s been a pretty active week for posts. The fact that you made the extra effort this week just shows your commitment to yourself and to others in becoming the most well-informed and understanding version of yourself. You never know when it will come in handy. It’s already made a pretty big impact in my life. I’ve had conversations with people I’d just met that I wouldn’t have been able to have without what I’ve learned from these awareness blogs. It’s made it so much easier to connect to people, and I find that they are more open and genuine with me when I already have some understanding of their experience. You wouldn’t think awareness was such a good way to get to know people and break the ice, but it is. It’s really cool, actually. I kind of feel like this is a new skill I’m developing; the skill of awareness. I’m sure many of you may have had similar experiences. I promised you guys a lighter awareness blog post today, and I’m true to my word, so today’s post topic is autistic pride, in honor of Autistic Pride Day!

Autistic Pride Day is a day dedicated to celebrating neurodiversity of people who are on the spectrum of autism. Autistic Pride Day is celebrated on June 18th, every year. The mission of Autistic Pride Day is to encourage acceptance and inclusion of people on the spectrum, while also promoting self-esteem for people on the spectrum. Rather than focusing on how autism makes people different from those without autism, Autistic Pride Day is designed to highlight and celebrate the things about their neurodiversity that makes them unique and special. Autistic Pride Day is not widely celebrated by people outside the community, but the hope is that it will become a popular observance. Currently, Autistic Pride Day is mostly celebrated by those who are part of the autism community, like those on the spectrum and their close friends and family members.

Autism, sometimes referred to as autism spectrum disorder or ASD, is a developmental and neurological disorder that appears in early childhood. Autism is referred to as a spectrum disorder because of the wide range of symptoms, and different ways the disorder presents itself. It affects everyone differently and to varying degrees. It’s kind of like different parts of the brain that are responsible for different things have a hard time working together like they should. Autism can significantly impact how a person interacts with others, their ability to communicate, their mode of communication, and how they learn. Diagnosing autism early and obtaining the therapies that best fit the particular needs of the person with autism can significantly improve how severely it affects them. Parents of children with autism/people with autism need to find the services and support that suits them in order to achieve the best outcome. Most autistic people will experience some amount of difficulty relating to others, but treatment can greatly improve this. Treatment allows people with autism to reach their full potential and lead their best lives.

There are many indications that someone may have autism. Autism usually presents itself before the age of 3. As mentioned above, autism presents with different symptoms with varying degrees of severity. Some behaviors that are typically attributed to autism are:

• Difficulty or delayed speech. Sometimes, it can be more difficult for children with autism to learn language. They may not talk at all, also. Some children who are autistic may be tested for hearing disabilities because deafness may explain some the signs of autism such as difficulty speaking or lack of eye contact. • Avoiding eye contact. You may notice that a child focuses intently on other things when someone is speaking to them. • Difficulty making or holding conversation. People with autism may avoid talking to people or experience discomfort when having to speak to others. • Difficulty with reasoning or planning, which is related to executive functioning. • Narrow area of interests. Children with autism may be interested in a particular type of media, such as movies or cartoons. • Intense interests. Children with autism may seem exclusively interested in just a few things. This may be a particular TV show, or game. It may seem like an obsession. • Sensory sensitivities. Some children with autism become very upset from certain kinds of stimulation. To them, it feels overwhelming and uncomfortable. What may appear to be a tantrum may actually be an autism meltdown. • Less developed motor skills. This may be referred to as dyspraxia. This can cause difficulty with the planning and execution of motor skills. Some people with autism have difficulty with posture or walking. It may take a person with autism years of practice to master some motor skills. • Repetitive behaviors. This may include repetitive body movements, such as rocking, or repeating a certain word or phrase. • Difficulty deviating from a routine. Some people with autism become very upset and overwhelmed by a change in routine. This could be something like a deviation in what’s for breakfast, or what time they engage in a certain activity. • Intense attachment to objects. Some people with autism experience an unusual attachment to certain things, such as a toy or article of clothing. • Tendencies to sort and organize things. You may notice children sorting their toys or organizing their toys rather than playing with them. • Difficulty with understanding other people’s emotions. Some people with autism may exhibit what appears to be apathy. They may not be able to understand another person’s pain or happiness.

Some other issues autism may cause are a below average intelligence, but it is important to note that many people with autism have totally normal intelligence or above average intelligence. Sometimes, teens on the spectrum experience depression and anxiety as a result of their difficulty relating to their peers and communicating with them. Sometimes autism may also be accompanied by a seizure disorder in the later childhood or teenage years.

Behavioral therapy and training is the most common treatment for autism. Specialized behavioral therapy can teach kids how to respond to situations appropriately, or how to interact with others. It can help them communicate with others and learn to relate to others. Behavioral therapy is most effective when it is started as early as possible. Depending on the particular set of symptoms someone with autism has, they may need other kinds of support or treatment such as medications for problems secondary to autism, speech therapy, or physical therapy. What each person needs is different and can change over time. It may take some time to discover the things that help each patient, seeing as they differ from patient to patient. It is important to realize that dealing with autism as a family means that each person must learn how to best accommodate the person with autism. When the entire family works with the autism, rather than against it, it can reduce the amount of stress for everyone. It is also important to work with everyone involved in your child’s education. Working with educators and therapy providers can help to ensure that symptoms are managed appropriately, and it prevents unnecessary meltdowns. If your child has autism, be their advocate. Sometimes they may need more than you know how to do. There are many services available for people with autism, and getting help where it’s needed is what’s best for your child, not a failure in parenting. Caring for a child with autism can be a very demanding and draining job, so it’s very important to remember to care for your self as well. Contact public agencies to see what they may offer for your situation. It’s also a really good idea to become part of the community, perhaps by getting involved in an autism organization, for support and advice. It may benefit the whole family!

Thanks for reading, and happy autistic pride day!

If you are new to our awareness blog, welcome! I’m so glad you stumbled upon us! Let me briefly introduce the company and our mission. Personalized Cause is an awareness accessory brand that is known for our custom awareness ribbons. We carry all sorts of awareness accessories, such as fabric ribbons, awareness pins, and wristbands, but our custom awareness ribbons are unique to our company. Custom awareness ribbons can be engraved with any name, date, phrase, or message you choose. All of our custom awareness ribbons can be purchased in singles, as we have no minimum order requirement for this product. At Personalized Cause, we believe in the power of awareness. Our goal is to help you raise awareness for the causes that are close to your heart with our awareness accessories. We also feel responsible for doing our part to help raise awareness. Our awareness blog is dedicated to raising awareness for as many different causes as possible. We want to create a culture of understanding, acceptance, and compassion. I hope you’ll join us again next week for another awareness blog post!

Puzzle piece awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for autism. To order a custom puzzle piece awareness ribbon, visit:

#autism #autisticprideday #autismawareness #autismacceptance #aspergers #spectrum #neurodiversity #differentnotless #warhol #einstein #mozart #lightitupblue #liub #ausome #awareness #awarenessblog #awarenessribbons #cancerribbons