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Autism

What is Autism?1

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a "spectrum disorder" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause for autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.

In December 2009, 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 110 births in the United States and almost 1 in 70 boys. The issuance of this report caused a media uproar, but the news was not a surprise to the Autism Society or to the 1.5 million Americans living with the effects of autism spectrum disorder. Nonetheless, the spotlight shown on autism as a result of the prevalence increase opens opportunities for the nation to consider how to serve these families facing a lifetime of supports for their children.

Autism and Water Safety2

Autism is the fastest growing children’s disability in America. Much has been reported about Autism and the spectrum of Autism Disorders (ASD) recently in the news but many of us still don’t understand that much about it unless we are directly affected.

With current statistics, it is likely that you either know someone directly who is on the ASD spectrum or you have a neighbor who is. For this reason, we should all be aware of the unique risk these children face in regards to open water.

  • Autistic children are far more likely to be drawn to water than most children, and most children are already fascinated by water! This includes lakes, ponds, stream, fountains… just about any source of water.

  • It is known that drowning is one of the leading causes of death in Autistic children nationwide.

  • Autistic children are generally unaware or not understanding of dangers around them. This can include water depth, water temperature, current, steep slopes, slippery slopes, and confined spaces (culverts and drains).

As most neighborhoods have retention ponds, spillways, and fountains, there are a host of dangers for many of these children.

Possible source of help:

http://autismcares.org


References:

  1. Autism Society
    http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_whatis_factsstats
  2. Water Awareness in Residential Neighborhoods
    http://www.warnonline.org/english/autism.htm
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