April is Autism Awareness Month, walk scheduled

15 April 2012

MADAWASKA- Joining with the Autism Society of Maine, the Meet Our Colors Gallery at the Greater Madawaska Chamber of Commerce has a display of crafts, art, books and stories celebrating the success stories of our Northern Maine families who are impacted by the effects of autism and Asperger's syndrome and other diagnosis on the Spectrum.

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Autism and Autism Spectrum disorders affect one in every 88 children. There are great differences among people with autism. Some individuals may exhibit only slight delays in language and greater challenges with social interactions. Some may have average to above average verbal, memory, or spatial skills but find it difficult to be imaginative. Others may require intensive support to manage even the basic tasks and needs of living day to day

That is why it is so difficult to diagnosis and to treat. That is where the Autism Society comes in with educational tools and supports. Autism and all related areas are for a lifetime. The disability does not go away. It can improve with help, however, and the earlier the better. The ability to diagnose before age three and act on appropriate care-giving is crucial and is one of the reasons for the numbers to have increased in the last few years.

The early diagnosis and interventions have also improved the outcomes for those who are in the Autism Spectrum. That is what the Walk for Autism on April 29 is all about. This is the first year that communities in Northern Aroostook County have the opportunity to support and share in supporting those with autism in the northern end of the state of Maine without traveling to the south.

There are four Walk for Autism events being held on the same day and time: Biddeford, Bangor, Farmington and a new walk location at the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI). The walks are only 2 miles and begin at noon. Registration is at 11 a.m. 

Stop by the Gallery at the Chamber office to see some of the fantastic things being done by folks with autism and make a donation to support those who will be walking on April 29. You can also make a donation, start your own team, or donate to one of our team members online at http://www.firstgiving.com/ASMMAINE/walk-for-autism  TeamAndRose is looking for sponsors and are local families in Madawaska and Frenchville. There may be other familiar people on the teams page.

Help to make the first walk at UMPI an annual event by walking, donating, spreading the good news that there is hope and help. For more information on autism and related disorders go to the Autism Society of Maine's website at:  http://www.asmonline.org/autism.asp or call 1-800-273-5200.