Loveland resident Matt
Brennan has cancelled plans to climb Mt. Everest in March, 2005. Brennan is
the founder of the Cincinnati Center for Autism and the father of a child with
autism. He was planning on climbing Everest this spring with lifelong friend
Andy Politz, a veteran Everest climber, to raise money for the Center and to
increase awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Citing personal reasons,
Brennan commented, “My family has a lot going on right now and I do not
believe that leaving them for three months is beneficial to their well being.
My son is close to a breakthrough with his therapy and my wife needs my
support now more than ever. I have been gone for the past three years climbing
mountains. I need to be home to support my wife who deals with ASD everyday.
This was a difficult decision to make (canceling the trip) but my commitment
to my family is more important than the summit of Mt. Everest and I have
received tremendous support from my family, friends and sponsors for making
the right choice”.
Brennan did not rule out a
trip to Everest in the near future. “I have a close friend in Andy Politz and
I hope to one day climb Everest with him”. Brennan indicated that all
donations received by the Cincinnati Center for Autism for the climb will be
returned by March 1.
Matt Brennan and Andy Politz will attempt Everest in Spring 2005. Andy Politz,
a veteran of seven Everest expeditions, is joining his friend Matt Brennan,
father of a child with autism. Matt and Andy, who have known one another since
childhood growing up in Columbus Ohio, will form the core of team. This climb
will not be a search for Mallory and Irvine, but something much more
important! Today we ask you to read the below...
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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