Though autism and prematurity are not the same, they are both relative to the humble beginnings of some children. They can also be connected, in ways. The developmental delays observed in many preemies resemble certain delays observed in autistic children. Both groups of children, as well as their families and friends, need ongoing support and even more love.
With technology, many premature children are able to survive the NICU. With support, doctor’s care and an encouraging environment, preemies are able to thrive, most with few to no long term complications. To be clear, premature children are babies who are born before their due date, some WAY before there due date. This can occur for many different reasons, sometimes, with for no reason at all. Preemies nomally stay in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for an extended period of time. They may endure many health issues and/or surgery before they are released. These special bundles of joy range anywhere from 3 – 5 lbs at birth. Micro-preemies are born weighing even less than 3 lbs and generally require more time in the NICU and more care once they are able to go home.
Autism is a serious developmental disorder. It is also a condition that is considered the fastest growing developmemtal disorder in the United States. This condition can range from moderate to severe. At one point in time, not too long, autism was rare and perplexing to parents as well as the neurological doctors that provided care to these angels. In 2007, 1 out of every 500 children were being diagnosed with autism. In 2012, every 15 minutes, a parent is being told that their child has a form of autism. The factors that contribute to this diagnosis are still unknown. Many parents speculate and believe that it has something to do with the immunization shots. Autism affects the way children are able to communicate, develop and learn.
There is a way you can participate in the efforts to research either or both of these conditions. There are many ways that you can make a difference in the lives of children who are here for a reason.
March of Dimes is hosting its 6th annual walk in NYC on April 29th. For more information, please call (212) 353-8353.
Autism Speaks is hosting a walk in NYC on June 3rd. For more information, please call (917) 475-5068.
D.D. Wright is supportive after experiencing prematurity first hand with the birth of her first and only child with a birth weight of 470 grams. If you are interested in donating to efforts to research and provide assistance to those affected by autism, please go to the website, http://www.autismspeaks.org and donate to Team Never Give Up.