Autism Awareness Day
Hello my peeps. Some of you may know that my grandson, Hunter, was diagnosed to be moderate on the Autism Spectrum last year. It was scary because we didn't know much about Autism at the time. I'd only been around one person who is much higher on the scale than Hunter so I really didn't know what to expect.
I knew that something was off when he still wasn't talking after his 2nd birthday. We took him to speech therapy and they suggested additional testing. There were things he was doing during the testing that we just thought were normal for him that we later found out are big signs that he was on the spectrum. The fact that Hunter was diagnosed when he was only 2 and a half has all the doctors and therapists optimistic that with regular therapy you might not even be able to tell when he is older.
I thought I would share the signs here because the earlier the diagnosis the better.
(Taken from the Autism Speaks website)
The following "red flags" may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child exhibits any of the following, please don’t delay in asking your pediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation:
No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
No babbling by 12 months
No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
No words by 16 months
No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age
Something that isn't mentioned on this list is spinning and flapping of hands which is a pretty common physical sign and Hunter does them a LOT. Hunter is now getting 20 hours of therapy a week and we have learned so much. He catches onto new tasks pretty quickly and has blown his goals out of the water on more than one occasion. Most of his therapy is play and we do a lot of redirecting, for example, when he wants to spin we pick him up and spin with him so that it is social.
I made this layout especially for today because I want people to know that Autism isn't scary. Hunter is different but he isn't "less than". He is the sweetest little boy with the biggest heart that loves to give his grandma a million and one kisses every day. He is still non verbal but he is smart and can usually communicate what he wants. He is brave and talented and he is actually ahead on a lot of the gross motor skills milestones. He is an amazing little boy and we love him to pieces
In the photo below you can see some of the detail from the Girlie Grunge Gauze that I applied to the background with my Girlie Grunge Medium. You can also see the Girlie Grunge Tissue Tape pieces along the side and the splatters that I made with my Silver Pigment Powder mixed with water and Girlie Grunge Art Medium.
In the photo below you can see the detail of my new Cascading Circles die from Spellbinders that will be release later this month! I die cut pattern paper, book pages and white card stock with the same die so that I could have multiple different patterns on the background.
After I made the layout I couldn't figure out what to put for the quote. I did a search for Autism quotes and after spending about 45 minutes reading them all and crying (because I'm such a big cry baby when it comes to this because it is so close to my heart), I finally chose the one on the layout that is PERFECTLY fitted for what I wanted to say.
In the photo below you can see more of the little details and texture. I also wanted to mention the cardboard that I mounted the layout on. You can imagine after loading up the card stock with all these textures that the paper would want to warp. So I used Home & Hobby's Premium Double Sided Tape to adhere the layout to the cardboard. I also wanted the layout to be sturdy because I am keeping it on a shelf.
In the photo below you can see where I have the layout in my house. It is in a spot that is front and center every time we come down the stairs. I think that this might be my most favorite layout that I've ever done to date! I like the way it looks but more importantly I like the way it makes me feel when I look at it.
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Donna Salazar Designs with Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L®
Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L®
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