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"Mortgages For A Cause"TM

August 2010

AUTISM CANADA FOUNDATION

I received a fair number of requests to include autism in the monthly charities list. I must admit, I did not know much about it and was surprised to learn a number of things:

Autism is a complex condition covering a number of areas known as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

The number of children in Canada affected is now 1 in 110

It is critical that children affected receive early treatment

Primary symptoms include problems with communication and social interaction as well as repetitive interests and activities:

Impaired Communication
Impaired Social Skills
Lack of awareness
Abnormal Seeking of Comfort when Stressed
Impaired Imitation Skills
Abnormal Toy Play
Inability to Form Friendships
Perseveration on Interests and Activities
Dependence on Routine
Abnormal Responses to Sensory Stimulation
Behavioural Problems
Variability of Intellectual Functioning
Uneven Development Profile
Difficulties in Sleeping
Immune Irregularities
Gastrointestinal Problems

Although some areas of development are delayed, children with ASD often exhibit skills beyond their years in other areas. These intellectual strengths may overshadow the developmental problems experienced by the child.

ASD is a complex neurobiological condition that can affect the normal function of the gastrointestinal, immune, hepatic, endocrine and nervous systems.

It impacts normal brain development in children, leaving most with communication problems, difficulty with typical social interactions and a tendency to repeat specific patterns of behaviour.

There is also a markedly restricted repertoire of activity and interests. Children on the autism spectrum tend to have varying degrees and combinations of symptoms, and therefore treatment needs to be specific to the individual.

The Autism Canada Foundation is a registered Canadian Charitable organization committed to improving the lives of Canadians affected by autism since 2002.

The founding directors were all parents whose children were diagnosed with ASD. Having firsthand experience with autism, they were more than aware of the lack of representation in Canada for all effective treatments and therapies, and funding.

The Foundation works with government, health professionals, educators, and families, to ensure that full information on diagnosis, research, support, and treatment options is made available. Taking the utmost pride in its work, it is fully accountable to donors through complete transparency.

Autism Canada could not continue in its vision to find a cure for autism without the thousands of parents and families across Canada who wake up every morning and push forward in their quest to improve the lives of their children with autism.

They are the reason the organization was created, and continues to effect change every day. They are the inspiration behind Autism Canada.

For more information, please see: www.autismcanada.org.

Of particular interest is the high cost of some of the available treatments.


As always, thank you for taking the time to read this.

Sincerely,

Dara Fahy A.M.P.

SEE MONTHLY CHARITIES TO DATE


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