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THE LONG PUSH 2012 is sponsored by...

THE LONG PUSH has been sponsored and supported by the following companies and individuals...

BIG WOODY'S SKATEBOARD SHOP : DC SHOES : ORANGATANG WHEELS/J&R SPORTS : SPORTING SAILS : SKATEFURTHER :

WOODY & DRE (BIG WOODY'S): MARK ROBINSON (OBAS UK): KYLE CHIN(LOADED BOARDS) : RICHARD BIRCHWOOD (J&R SPORTS): BILLY & NICK SMITH (SPORTING SAILS) JULIET & THE STAFF OF TESCO EXPRESS, ALBERT ROAD, SOUTHPORT :

If you would like to sponsor me on my journeys, please contact me at the_long_push@btinternet.com

justgiving - sponsor me now!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

What is autism anyway? (Part 1)

As this blog is all about autism awareness I guess I should say a bit about it. So here goes...

Autism is not an illness, it's a lifelong condition or disorder that affects a person's social communication and social understanding. Some of the difficulties people with autism have have been bracketed under what is called 'The Triad of Impairment'. This includes the following:

  • SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL - Difficulties in understanding how to behave and interact with other people. Difficulties understanding their own feelings 
  • LANGUAGE & COMMUNICATION - Difficulties processing and understanding verbal communication. Difficulties in expressing their feelings in a socially appropriate manner.
  • FLEXIBILITY OF THOUGHT - Difficulties coping with change in routine, empathy, generalisation.

Although these are common symptoms of an autism diagnosis, no two people are exactly the same, and may also show additional behaviours such as sensory processing issues and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Because of this wide range of behaviours the current trend is to describe an autism diagnosis as a Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as the person will be somewhere on the wider autism spectrum dependent on the severity of their condition. Aspergers Syndrome, which you may have heard of, is on the autism spectrum. People with aspergers may be described as 'high functioning' because, although they may display some elements of the triad of impairment, they can still function in society in an independent manner. At the opposite end of the spectrum are people who simply cannot speak or are 'non-verbal', making social interaction and independence extremely difficult.

Sometimes a person with autism may seem rude, inappropriate or badly behaved, as a result of their difficulties in understanding the social rules which we as 'neuro typical' people take for granted. Early diagnosis can help by identifying a child's needs at an early stage and engaging the child in intensive speach and language therapy and coaching them in understanding their emotions and the social rules.

Find out more FACTS about autism at The NATIONAL AUTISTIC SOCIETY website http://www.autism.org.uk/

An autism diagnosis can have a huge impact on a family. Parents have to adapt to understand a child's condition and learn how to respond to the behaviours which can be very challenging. Siblings can also find great difficulty with this. Some children with ASD may never become the independent sons/daughters that parents always thought they would, and need constant emotional and/or physical support. This can put an enormous strain on families. Which is where The Long Push 2012 comes in.

The Long Push 2012 is going to be done to both raise autism awareness and to collect donations for an autism charity called FAMILIES CONNECTED

Families living with a child with ASD can find it to be an isolating experience. Families Connected was founded to provide avenues for communication between families who can understand each others experiences and help others through sharing. Families Connected works to help families find support from a community who understands the effects of ASD on family and daily life.

To find out more and donate to Families Connected please visit their website at http://www.families-connected.org.uk/





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