Welcome to the Modern Typewriter, a daily blog to discuss topics that can’t be answered easily, or are just some fun topics! Today is December 13th, 2008, I’m Royce, and I’m here to tell you about a disorder called Autism.
About one in every 150 children are diagnosed with Autism. This is more common than AIDS, diabetes, and even pediatric cancer. It happens in every ethnic group, and is more likely to happen to boys. Children with Autism usually have a harder time communicating with other people and relating to others. Currently, there is no cure for Autism, nor a way to prevent it.
“When I walk around school, I see the Autistic children and their teacher. I cannot imagine what their life can consist of. They must have a hard time, and I realize above all things that they would need is a friend.” says Melanie, a writer at the Modern Typewriter.
Excerpt From Blazing the Trails For Kids With Autism, by Robyn Schneider:
When they first started, their coaches held their hands while running with them, not sure what to expect as both Alex and Jamie have limited language and self-injurious behavior that can oftentimes be unpredictable. Soon the coaches were able to let go and run with them side by side. Now, in just a little over one year, Alex and Jamie have run in 15 races all over Long Island. Their first race was a 5K (3.1 miles) and Alex finished in 27:45, Jamie in 31:24. Now, for the same 5K race, Alex finishes in 20:53 and Jamie in 25:35. They have also begun to increase their distance running in 10K races (6.2 miles). In the last 10K Alex finished in 43:28 and Jamie in 55:35. They have both placed in several races, including first and second place! Their trophies and race photos have begun to clutter our home and it’s wonderful. They have even been featured in the New York Times and the Greater LI Running Club Magazine!
Kids with autism have many skills that we often never know exist. The best part of our new discovery is that Alex and Jamie are running with typically developing kids and adults, together. As we watch and cheer and wait with nervous anticipation until they cross the finish line each time, we are so excited and proud to see them with all the other runners and realize their abilities to succeed in this wonderful outdoor sport. Best of all are the ear to ear smiles on both of their faces; they really love to run! Now we are planning our own race to increase awareness of autism and to benefit Eden II’s Genesis School, a program exclusively for individuals with autism, where Alex and Jamie have attended since its inception in 1995.
We have lived through many tough times through the years, but there’s one thing that we’ve learned and that’s to keep exploring the inner talents and skills that our kids possess. A year ago we had no idea that Alex and Jamie could run so fast. Now, come this September the boys will be included in their high school cross country team. Inclusion in their own district high school was so far beyond our expectations. We never dreamed of this happening!
“Whenever some of my friends call the Autistic kids ‘retarded’ or ‘useless’, I tell them that they’re not retarded, or useless. Typical kids nowadays are so judgmental. They call the Autistic kids retarded when they don’t even know what is wrong. And they aren’t retarded. I tell them that it’s wrong to call them that, and then they realize that it is, and they end up apologizing.” says Karina, another writer.
Remember, I’m Royce, and this is the Modern Typewriter, OUT!
Picture Retrieved From: http://www.nbbd.com/npr/autism/AutismRibbonLg.jpg