Christopher: Living with Autism

My cousin, Christopher is one of a kind. He is a spirited little boy who loves to explore how things work. His little, powerful mind fascinates me.  Everything is a science experiment. He makes whirlpools in the sink. He loves to feel the water run through his fingers or pour water through his plastic toys.  Once, I was helping Christopher with his homework. His assignment was to draw one picture for each letter of the alphabet. We got to the letter "S," and he decided to draw a space-time continuum. Brilliant! 

Binkis are his calming method and security blanket. He has one in his mouth and one in each hand to sleep. He can recite entire plots to movies. He is a pirate expert. Seriously, anything you've ever wanted to know about pirates, he's your guy.  Christopher is extremely aware of all senses.  He teaches me to play and enjoy the tiniest details of life. 

Christopher has autism. This makes it difficult for him to communicate all of the adventures and worries in his mind.  With April being Autism Awareness Month, I am passionate about spreading awareness of this diagnosis. I know there is an important place in our communities for these incredible individuals. Let's link arms in supporting one another.  

These photos  provide a day in the life glimpse into the life of one amazing little boy. Christopher made a video to share with you about a few things he loves!

Autism Facts & Stats

  • Autism now affects 1 in 68 children
  • Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls
  • About 40% of children with autism do not speak. About 25%–30% of children with autism have some words at 12 to 18 months of age and then lose them. Others might speak, but not until later in childhood
  • Autism greatly varies from person to person (no two people with autism are alike)
  • The rate of autism has steadily grown over the last twenty years
  • Comorbid conditions often associated with autism include Fragile X, allergies, asthma, epilepsy, bowel disease, gastrointestinal/digestive disorders, persistent viral infections, PANDAS, feeding disorders, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, OCD, sensory integration dysfunction, sleeping disorders, immune disorders, autoimmune disorders, and neuroinflammation.
  • Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder, yet most underfunded
  • A 2008 Danish Study found that the mortality risk among those with autism was nearly twice that of the general population
  • Children with autism do progress – early intervention is key
  • Autism is treatable, not a hopeless condition
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