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Why We Run

So many families are affected by autism. I know, I am one of them. My name is Mike, and my wife Jeannie and I are proud parents of four children, two of whom are autistic. 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. Autism impairs a person's ability to communicate and relate to others. It is four times more likely to strike boys than girls and typically lasts throughout a person's lifetime. Symptoms can range from very mild to quite severe. The Polar Bear Run/Walk will generate funds for autism awareness, advocacy and family services. Proceeds benefit Autism Speaks, Special Service Schools, Autism Support Groups, as well as Families of Special Needs Children. If you can think of one person who has autism, they are the reason you should participate. Come and help make their future a better one!

What is Autism?

Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication . The diagnostic criteria require that symptoms become apparent before a child is three years old. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life. The signs usually develop gradually, but some autistic children first develop more normally and then regress. Early behavioral, cognitive, or speech interventions can help autistic children gain self-care, social, and communication skills. Although there is no known cure, there have been reported cases of children who recovered. Not many children with autism live independently after reaching adulthood, though some become successful. -From Wikipedia

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