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During the recording of our first video blog focused on the applications of orbiTouch with autistic individuals, I was reminded of the importance of Autism advocacy.

Autism is a relatively new addition to the sphere of disease awareness. Beforehand, Autistic children and adults, most of them undiagnosed, were just thought of as eccentric, strange, or just weird overall. I think about how frustrating it must’ve been for Autistic individuals back then, and even now, in understanding their behaviors. In a society where conformity is king, many of these people must have asked themselves, “Why can’t I just be like everybody else?”

I could tell you that it is our unique differences that make life interesting (which ultimately, I do think is true), but try telling that to a person who has to live with the ramifications of being different every day. I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have the gall to tell another person how they’re feeling.

It has been very recently—within the past 15 years particularly—this condition has started to receive the recognition it deserves. In fact, many people believe Autism numbers have been on the rise due to environmental factors, but according to a recent article on ArsTechnica.com, it is more likely researchers and doctors are just more adept in diagnosing this incredibly misunderstood cognitive and behavioral challenge.

It is evident that this condition must be further researched to be fully understood. In the meantime, we must have compassion as we learn more about this complex condition. We might not know for certain the causes of Autism, but hopefully with the right research and advocates, we someday will.

Written by elizabeth — May 12, 2011