To start this article, I must ask everyone a simple question. That is, do you really know what Autism is?
Even though the term Autism first appeared in 1911 very little was known about it until the late 20th century. It is only now that new discoveries and treatments are becoming prevalent helping individuals on this spectrum achieve their full potentials.
The term Autism comes from the Greek word autos meaning “self”. Autism literally means “alone”, and affects 1 in 68 children. It does not matter what race or creed, or religion the child is and it is more prevalent than childhood cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. Males are five times more likely to have it than females.
The correct term to identify these children and adults is to say that they have Autistic Spectrum Disorder or ASD. This simple change helped remove the darkness associated with the disease.
ASD often appears in children before age 3. Many are non-verbal for many years. If a child is non-verbal at age 4 it DOES NOT mean that the child will never speak, research now shows that most will learn to use words and more than half will speak fluently. A family with an autistic child will spend on the average of $60,000.00 a year! But if it is detected early and treated, that cost can be reduced by up to 2/3rds. According to a recent study the lifetime cost of autism averages 1.4 – 2.4 million dollars.
Each child with ASD is a unique individual they differ from one another just as “normal” children do. They can be verbal or non-verbal of average intelligence or genius, sometimes they have severe cognitive deficits. Many are afflicted with Hyperlexia, which is simply the ability to read above their age or grade levels. Many very famous people have been diagnosed or suspected of being Autistic. They include Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Hans Christian Anderson, and Lewis Carroll. Great mathematicians, such as Sir Isaac Newton, Michelangelo, and Nobel prize winner Dr. Vernon Smith. Celebrities that you will recognize immediately; Anthony Hopkins, Dan Aykroyd, Susan Boyle, Jerry Seinfeld have all been diagnosed with ASD.
I am blessed to not have any ASD in my family, that I know of. But several close and special friends have told me that they have children or siblings or grandchildren that are afflicted with this syndrome. I have met many of them and they are wonderful and beautiful children and are now young adults.
We at Gregg’s Automotive have a Free Brakes Campaign. Partnering up with NAPA auto parts, we can give ANYONE one set of premium NAPA brake pads or shoes. That is a savings of $75.00 to over $100.00 dollars off on their vehicle. All other services and parts necessary to perform the brake job are performed with our customary competitive prices. On October 31, we tally up all the brake work that we have done during the month and write a check to Autism Awareness Charity of Charlotte County for 10% of that total, so that they can provide the necessary services and needs for all of the Charlotte County Schools that house and educate ALL of our challenged students. EVERY CENT COLLECTED stays in this county.
This is a win-win for everyone, you save some money on a brake job, we can donate much-needed funds to a great cause, and the children of this county are helped.
Tell your friends neighbors and family about this campaign, and if you don’t need brakes, we will gladly accept any contribution you would like to donate. This is our 13th year of doing this, everyone that participates will receive a great T-shirt and I am looking forward to writing this charity a check for $2500.00 this year.