Saturday, April 7, 2012

Crafting for a Cause

Did you know that the month of April is Autism Awareness Month? I found this out a few year ago when a beautiful little girl in my life was diagnosed with Autism. So last year I decided to make something fun to help share in this wonderful awareness campaign. I made a sweet little paper flower bouquet and I tried my hand at those fun toilet paper roll mini albums. All in Blue and White.

So this year I wanted to do the same thing once again, but before we get to what I did this year lets share a little bit about Autism which is why we really are here.
What is Autism?
According to the wonderful site Autism Speaks; Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.
Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age. Autism Speaks continues to fund research on effective methods for earlier diagnosis, as early intervention with proven behavioral therapies can improve outcomes. Increasing autism awareness is a key aspect of this work and one in which our families and volunteers play an invaluable role.
How Common is Autism?
According to the Wonderful site Autism Speaks; Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 88 American children as on the autism spectrum–a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Careful research shows that this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and awareness. Studies also show that autism is three to four times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.
By way of comparison, this is more children than are affected by diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome, combined.* ASD affects over 2 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. Moreover, government autism statistics suggest that prevalence rates have increased 10 to 17 percent annually in recent years. There is no established explanation for this continuing increase, although improved diagnosis and environmental influences are two reasons often considered.

This is only a very little bit of the information that you can find on Autism from one of the many great resources for Autism. Please join the fight against Autism and help all of us find a way to make this stop!
If you are looking for an amazing book that gives you just a small glimpse into the world of living with a child with Autism try reading Louder then Words by Jenny McCarthy, she also has Mother Warriors which is another amazing book on the fight against Autism.

Now on to what I have made this year to help spread awareness.This year I have decided to make a standard 12x12 scrapbook page. It actually turned out great and I am very excited to share it with you. I chose Blue as the main color but felt that if I had done it all in only blue things might not turn out as cute as I wanted it to. So I threw in a blue patterned paper that had a couple other colors. Pink, Orange, White....... Well, why am I talking about it when I could just show you.
I didn't add an actual title because I would rather have the ribbon and the Mother's words be the main focus of what should be said.

That's all I have for this post. Thank you for stopping by for this extra special post.
~Virginia E.

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