This is a view from Nido de Condores
across to some neighboring peaks
Hello from sunny Mendoza! It
is 75 degrees and sunny- a far cry from our weather in Cincinnati. My flight
was uneventful except for the two year old that sat next to me and cried half
the time. I was due for something like that to happen.
Getting geared up for
tomorrow when I leave for Los Penitentes. Los Penitentes is an old ski area
about one mile from the Horcones route trailhead. It is a 3 hour drive through
this winding canyon but a beautiful drive. I will spend the night in Los
Penitentes and hit the trail (running) on Saturday morning.
I have fielded a lot of
questions from people who ask why I am going solo. It is a difficult response
and my only explanation is that I want to stretch the limits of what I can
achieve. In some way, by pushing myself, by challenging the very core that we
as human beings have grown to rely on, I think I can then have the basis to
The same goes for autism. Why
accept what is? Let's accept what can be. We will never know what can be
without pushing ourselves. Without trying harder, asking the tough questions.
This means pushing for changes in health care practices to provide funding for
treatments. This means pushing your local schools to provide better services
for developmentally disabled children. This means saying no, taking a stand,
and getting involved. It doesn't take money, it takes will, perseverance, and
the knowledge of knowing have far you can go.
Onward and upward. More
Everest for Autism
Expedition. Matt Brennan will depart March 18, 2005 to conquer Mount Everest.
The expedition is made possible by Everest for Autism sponsors; Columbus
Equipment, ground multi-sport clothing, EverestNews.com, Softrends, and the
Child Wellness Community Fund, the expedition will raise needed funds for
children who suffer with Autism in the Greater Cincinnati Area.
Matt is the CEO of Loveland
Excavating and the father of four. His youngest son Blake was diagnosed with
Autism at 16 months old. In 2003 Matt founded the Cincinnati Center for
Autism. The nonprofit center provides treatment to children with Autism and
serves as a resource for families dealing with Autism.
In preparation for his
Everest expedition Matt will climb Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina alone in
January. Mt. Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the western hemisphere and
one of the coveted "seven summits." The Argentina climb will prepare Matt
physically and mentally for Everest while serving as a test run for his
technology. Thanks to corporate support, the Everest expedition team will send
updates to media partners via satellite phone, e-mail and digital imaging thus
providing a way for supporters to track his progress and share the excitement
of the Summit.
On the summit of Mt Everest a
strip of prayer flags (Puja Flags) will be raised, each bearing a child's
name to honor those - past and present - who suffer from Autism Spectrum
Disorder. Those wishing to sponsor a flag in the name of a child may do so
with a donation of $10 or more to the Everest for Autism Campaign.
Autism: The Growing Epidemic
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing mental
disorder in the world, with growth of more than 800 percent in the last 15
years. Today, more than 1.5 million people are afflicted with the disorder. In
the next decade, an estimated 4.5 million people will be diagnosed with ASD.
ASD is a complex developmental disability that typically
appears within the first three years of life. A result of a neurological
disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, autism affects the normal
development of the brain in the areas of communication and social interaction.
Children and adults with autism usually have difficulties in the areas of
social interaction; verbal and non-verbal communication; and leisure and play
activities. No single cause is responsible for its onset, and no single
behavior characterizing autism exists. Currently, there is no cure.
Autism is one of five Pervasive Development Disorders, a
category of neurological disorders categorized by the severe and pervasive
impairment of several areas of development including social interaction and
communication skills. Autism is the most common of the Pervasive Developmental
Disorders, affecting an estimated 2-6 out of 1,000 individuals. The overall
incident of autism is consistent around the globe, but autism is four times
more prevalent in boys than girls. Autism knows no racial or ethnic
boundaries, nor do education levels or socioeconomic factors affect the chance
of autism’s occurrence.
While there is no cure for autism, there are treatment and
education approaches that may reduce some of the challenges associated with
the disability. Intervention may help lessen disruptive behaviors, and
education can teach self-help skills that allow greater independence. But just
as one there is no one symptom or behavior that identifies autistic children,
there is also no single treatment. Currently, mental health experts endorse no
single treatment; for this reason, very little funding is available to
families fighting autism, leaving most treatments privately funded.
Consequently, under-funded families must wait for school-based treatment
programs or conduct home-based programs staffed by family members.
Cincinnati Center for Autism
click here to visit the web site of Cincinnati Center for
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