Our Story, Our Commiment
Thank you for your interest in learning more about our autism projects:
Proceeds from the sale of these projects benefit autism research and intervention programs that ultimately assist individuals with autism achieve more independent, productive and happy lives.
Qualified organizations may apply for a grant that is given on an annual basis. Areas that will be supported include, but are not limited to: research into etiologies and prevalence of autism; direct assistance for individuals with autism; respite services for families of individuals with autism; job sampling and job training endeavors for teenagers and adults with autism; residential placement for individuals with autism who for different reasons are no longer able to live with their families.
The Neri family has experienced the impact of autism for over two decades, and have supported local autism intervention programs for an equally long time. We know wholeheartedly how challenging it can be to overcome some of the obstacles associated with an autism spectrum diagnosis: Establishing meaningful activities, teaching functional self-help and home-living skills, improving expressive language and language comprehension, are some of the things we have been dealing with on a very personal level.
Thank you again for your interest. The funds raised by these projects will benefit individuals and families that, on a daily basis, face difficult challenges.
To support our efforts, you can participate in any of our projects or make a direct donation.
Sergio and Violetta Neri
What Is Autism? What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. With the May 2013 publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual, all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD. Previously, they were recognized as distinct subtypes, including autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.
ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.
Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age.
How Common Is Autism?
Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 American children as on the autism spectrum – a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Careful research shows that this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and awareness. Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.
ASD affects over 3 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. Moreover, government autism statistics suggest that prevalence rates have increased 10 to 17 percent annually in recent years. There is no established explanation for this continuing increase, although improved diagnosis and environmental influences are two reasons often considered.
(From the Website of Autism Speaks, April 2015)