Everyone has his or her own strategy of putting a jigsaw puzzle together. Some start with corner and edge pieces and work towards the center. Some start with large areas and work outward. Maybe some just go at it randomly. Whatever the strategy, the goal is always the same: put together the smaller images to discover the larger picture that is your puzzle. There are few greater feelings in our world than snapping in that last piece of the puzzle and the sense of accomplishment that comes with solving the problem that faced you when you started.
Puzzles can be a great hobby, but they also make for a great analogy for a larger problem that now affects 1 in 88 children.
Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that causes significant language delays, social and communication deficiencies and unusual, repetitive or stereotypical behaviors. When someone has autism, their brain does not process information like most others due to abnormalities in nerve cells and synapse connections. Many children with autism cannot speak and others have very limited vocabulary and language acquisition. Cases of autism were first recognized in the 1980s and since then have seen an alarming rise in incidences. Spotted within the first three years of life, autism has a higher incident rate in boys – four times the rate of girls. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 out of 54 boys will be diagnosed with Autism whereas 1 out of 252 girls will be diagnosed.
Autism is one of three disorders that fall under Autism Spectrum Disorders, with Aspergers being one and pervasive developmental disorder being the other. Autism is considered a spectrum disorder, as no two affected people are alike. There is also relatively little known about what causes autism, although recent research has been able to provide some answers and clues. And while this treatable condition is extremely complex and is occurring at higher and higher rates (autism affects more children than any other disorder), it is one of the most unfunded conditions.
That is what the National Autism Association exists for. Founded in 2003, NAA serves as the leading voice in advocating and providing for the urgent needs of the autism community. NAA is a parent-run organization that supports autism families with such things as safety, therapy and medical services. The NAA also advocates for its community though educating about research and new trends, funding impactful research studies, raising awareness of the autism epidemic and sponsoring the National Autism Conference every year. With local chapters all over the country, the National Autism Association gives families real help that gives those with autism a chance to live a life full of potential and support.
This week, when you partner with Sevenly and shop for a cause, you can help the National Autism Association advocate for those with Autism and meet the needs of its community. Let’s help solve the puzzle that paints a beautiful picture of hope and a full life.