Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Two Simple Things Followers of Jesus Can Do For the Autism Community

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Jesus:

This post is about autism. You may have heard of autism. You may even know or have a family member with autism.

What Is Autism?

Autism is considered a complex neuroligical condition. It shows up in many different ways. It shows up in many different degrees. That is why it is called "an autism spectrum." From one end of the spectrum you have the nonverbal person who needs constant help with self-care. On the opposite end of the spectrum you have the person who is socially awkward, but is a stunning success in business and is independent. It is estimated that now, one in eighty-eight people are autistic. I don't know if this counts those who are undiagnosed. Autism is a neurological condition that affects the way a person takes in information. If a person has sensory or anxiety persons, these affect his socialization. To the degree that he lives with one or both, social skills will suffer. Autism affects how you communicate. It ranges from being nonverbal to being verbal but not knowing how to carry a conversation.

What Does This Have To Do With Me?

We are called to love all people.We are called to speak up for those who need our voice. Even now, autism services are often unaffordable to minority families and low-income families. What are autism services? They are diagnostic services to screen people who are suspected to be autistic. They are support services for those who are already diagnosed. Adults have little access to autism services, diagnostic or support services. Autistic adults have a high unemployment rate. It is an estimated 7o percent. The biggest challenge faced by teens with autism is aging out of autism services. What can we do about this? Simply put, join me in supporting a petition calling for the government to fund diagnostic and support autism services. How will the government pay for autism services? you may well wonder. If you read the text to my petition, you will read that funds were set aside to "cambat autism" (a phrase I dislike), but have never been appropriated. The government can get funds out of that. Bluntly, they can increase everyone's taxes or take the funds out of "pork projects." We can make a difference.

When people's needs go unmet, we all pay.

Yours In Christ's Service,

Lisa DeSherlia

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