I’m not sure when I first heard about autism. I’m not even sure that I had even heard about it before watching the Oscar-winning movie “Rain Man” starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise way back in 1988.
I guess you can say that autism got quite a bit of exposure through the film and Dustin Hoffman’s character, Raymond Babbitt.
Autism is a disorder of neural development. It is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.
According to studies, these signs all begin 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.
Autism has a strong genetic basis. In some cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects.
It is controversial when it comes to proposed environmental causes, such as heavy metals, pesticides or childhood vaccines.
The global prevalence of autism is about 1–2 per 1,000 people, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports approx. 9 per 1,000 children in the United States. The number of people diagnosed with autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s.
And then there’s 10-year old Monique Sciberras from Australia who was diagnosed with mild autism several years ago.
According to her parents, Monique has been able to thrive through her martial arts training and overcome her disability.
She has become a force to reckon with in karate, kung fu, boxing, Muay Thai and weapons.
I came across some video footage that deserves to be shared with you, wherever you may be right now:
For more about Monique Sciberras, click here.