"What is Autism?
Autism is a severe developmental disability which is usually diagnosed around the age of three. It results from a neurological disorder which interferes with brain development; primarily in the parts of the brain that control perception, verbal communication and social interaction.
The term autism is a very broad catch term for a very complex syndrome. Autism is a spectrum disorder and is identified by the acronym ASD ... for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Individuals with ASD exhibit characteristics distributed over a broad spectrum: from individuals profoundly affected with extremely limited independent life skills to those who are seemingly "mildly" affected and function more or less effectively. Each individual on the autism spectrum is unique in his or her own way. As the saying goes: “If you’ve met one person with autism … you’ve met one person with autism.”
What causes autism is a matter of scientific mystery and controversy. Experts have many theories, but no real conclusive understanding of what causes autism. It is generally agreed there is a genetic component to autism. There is also evidence of environmental factors, such as the chemicals we encounter in daily living and in the medications given to children.
The Autism Society of America – Second Life
The Autism Society of America is the leading voice and resource of the entire autism community in education, advocacy, services, research and support. ASA is committed to meaningful participation and self-determination in all aspects of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. The vision of ASA-SL is consistent with the vision of ASA-RL. The combination of ASA's grass roots structure and its long history of providing support to individuals, families and professionals makes it an extremely viable vehicle for delivering that same support here in SL.
Second Life offers a very special and unique environment in which to provide that support. SL is a metaverse which literally does not sleep; so people can come together without regard for geography or time zone or any of the other myriad obstacles that prevent people from networking or seeking help in RL.
Similar to ASA in Real Life, ASA-SL exists first and foremost as a support group to support ASD individuals, families with ASD individuals and professionals with ASD clients. We strive to increase autism awareness in SL, to help educate the general population about the challenges families and individuals face and to inform people how they can get involved with helping those who need our help.
To accomplish our goal the ASA-SL has a number of programs and services. In the chapter office is a library with extensive information on autism and RL autism resources and contact information. There is also a media room which features videos on a variety of autism related topics. In addition, the chapter hosts montly support group meetings held in the ASA-SL office on the first Saturday of the month at 5:00 PM SLT.
We live in a time when autism is literally increasing at epidemic rates, and the need for all of us to band together, to combine our resources and work together has never been greater. SL provides that environment to have the level of impact not possible in any other medium. Our mission is to help people come together and discover how all of us can help and support one another to improve the quality of life for all affected by autism".
For more information on ASA-SL, please visit the office in world at: