13th April 2008
UPDATE (Late March, 2010) This was my first entry made regarding autism, 5 days after our son was diagnosed as being on the ASD scale. Here is what we’re are doing for April of 2010 From Matt Kemp to Alyssa Milano to Peter Gammons, Sports and Entertainers Offer Assistance for Autism Awareness
There is no category for this topic here. There is baseball, basketball, hockey, football, and auto racing, but there is nothing for topics of far more importance.
This, being my personal blog, has been about commentary on sports. It has never been about my views on matters outside of that.
And, it has never been a place where you would find anything personal. Today, that changes as I find myself placed in a new cause. It is one that touches myself, my family, and as I will outline below, a growing and alarming number of families.
Over the past year, our youngest son has not been developing at the rate that most children do. At first, we chalked this up to him just not accelerating at the rate of our first son, who was ahead of the curve. Now, coming up on the age of three, we saw that he was not communicating, even on rudimentary levels such as pointing when he wanted something. Only when prompted would he respond verbally to a very small list of known words. Things that we initially thought were cute were really signs of something else. There was the jumping up and down when he was excited, spinning in circles, and the one we thought was the funniest… never calling me “Daddy”, but rather, “Mamma. “
Given these signs, we met with his pediatrician and from there, other specialists. The diagnosis was that our son is autistic.
As my wife and family come to grips to this news, we now find ourselves in a life altering experience. The good news is that with early detection, one-on-one and what is called “mainstream” therapy, we can hope that our son will eventually be a productive part of society. What was alarming to me was the incredible trend of more and more being diagnosed within the ASD spectrum. There was a point where the word “autism” would elicit confused stares. Now, nearly everyone in America has a family member or friend touched by ASD.
Based upon this, I am challenging all that have a platform to do so, to link to this news below, or pass it along. Call it the sports autism challenge, whatever. The hope is that by getting this news to as many as possible in the hope that others can be educated.
The following information comes by way of the Autism Society of America:
- 1 out of 150 children in U.S.
- 1 out of 90 boys
- Affects four times as many boys as girls
- Lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism: $3.5 to $5 million
- Current annual cost to U.S.: $35 billion
- Estimated annual cost by 2010: $90 billion
- 1.5 million Americans affected
Researching has found information that will be valuable to my wife and I, and some indications that we now see as classic traits of autism spectrum disorder that are within our son’s behavior. Passing some of these behavioral traits along may help you, or someone you know, get their child to their pediatrician for an evaluation. Early detection is critical as the earlier a child is enrolled in therapy, the better the odds are that when they grow older they will be able to function in society.
Here are some signs to look for in the children in your life:
- Lack of or delay in spoken language
- Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
- Little or no eye contact
- Lack of interest in peer relationships
- Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
- Persistent fixation on parts of objects
- Reaching a development milestone only to see regressively disappear
- Odd dietary behaviors, such as eating only starches
- No fear of danger
How can you help? Donate. Spread the word.
As I said, there is no category here for social causes. However, this is the one time it seemed appropriate and a responsibility to do so. If you know someone with autism, please leave your comments.
OTHER NEWS ACROSS THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK
- On Baseball Prospectus: Not Quite Catching All the Action – The Biz of Baseball
- BREAKING NEWS: MLB Drug Testing Policy Updated – The Biz of Baseball
- Curse? Red Sox T-Shirt in Slab of New Yankee Stadium – The Biz of Baseball
- MLB Drug Policy Oversight Will Not Be Wholly Independent –The Biz of Baseball
- Yahoo! & MLB.com Reach Video Distribution, Ad Sales Deal – The Biz of Baseball
- Red Sox Celebrate Home Opener In Style – The Biz of Baseball
- Red Sox to Raffle Off World Series Rings. Volvo C30 – The Biz of Baseball
- The Official “Red Sox Nation”? Stop the Bus, I Need Off. – The Biz of Baseball
- See It: NBA D-League Schedule Set – The Biz of Basketball
- NBA.com Shatters Traffic Record. Kobe Bryant & Pau Gasol Lead in Rankings – The Biz of Basketball
- CBS’ ‘Shinning Moment’ Down 6% from Last Year – The Biz of Basketball
- Nike and Kobe Bryant Launch Hyperdunk Basketball Shoe – The Biz of Basketball
- Walsh: Isiah Thomas To Coach End of Season. Any Changes Before Draft – The Biz of Basketball
- Emails Show Sonics Ownership Pushed as Early as April ’07 to Relocate to Oklahoma City – The Biz of Basketball
- Bobcats Trade Stadium Naming Rights for New TV Deal – The Biz of Basketball
- Are NCAA Final Four Teams Actually Losing Money? – The Biz of Basketball
- It’s Awesome Baby! Vitale, Ewing, Olajuwon Among 2008 Naismith Hall of Fame Class – The Biz of Basketball
- Biz of Football Editor of Content Bill Jordan’s 2008 NFL Mock Draft – The Biz of Football
- Bears and United Airlines Reach Naming Deal for former Cadillac Club at Soldier Field – The Biz of Football
- Former Ram and Cardinal Sharpe Pleads Guilty to Four Drug Charges – The Biz of Football
- Detroit’s Fox Theatre Tower to Shine Red Throughout Red Wings Playoff Run – The Biz of Hockey
- Detroit Red Wings Announce Winners of ‘Are You In?’ Video Contest – The Biz of Hockey
- As Credit Crunch Hits, Purchase of Lightning Drags Out – The Biz of Hockey
- Republican and Democratic National Convention Leaders Have Friendly Wager on NHL Playoffs –The Biz of Hockey
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.