National Autism Awareness Month


About 1 percent of the world’s population has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 54 births, making more than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder; it is currently the fastest-growing developmental disability. 

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that is often diagnosed in early childhood. It can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation on various levels. It’s a “spectrum condition” determined by a particular set of behaviors that diversely impacts these individuals. 

Those with autism are often nonverbal or have atypical speech patterns, causing difficulty understanding nonverbal communication, trouble forming friendships, and maintaining traditional ,back-and-forth, conversation. These challenges in speech cause people with autism toexperience differences in their interpersonal relationships, social interactions, and overall communication within different settings. 

Symptoms of autism can include echolalia (repeating sounds or phrases), repetitive physical movements, difficulty with transitions, intense interests in particular subjects, and extreme sensitivity or significantly lower sensitivity to various sensory stimuli. 

Autism rates continue to sky-rocket, and are expected to reach one out of every two kids by 2032; the demand in strategies for families living with an autism diagnosis are of ever-increasing importance.

While there is currently no known single cause of autism, the earlier a diagnosis is made, the better chance a person can receive the necessary support and services. Although they face many challenges, someone with autism can lead a quality life filled with opportunity through continued support from loved ones. 

Autism does not only impact the individual, but their families as well. The demands of living with a person with autism are high, and families frequently experience severe stress levels. While this may place a strain on the family, staying connected with other families in similar situations is beneficial. 

That is one of the main reasons that Dave Sandoval & Annie Ybarra created The A.W.A.K.E.N Project, a non-profit organization that supports individuals and families affected by autism. The organization believes it’s essential for the whole family to stay involved in the community. Accepting and preparing for future challenges will create a positive impact with everyone involved, including parents, siblings, grandparents, extended family, and friends. 

There is no distinct pattern in how autism can impact a family; the various qualities of people with autism contribute to the effects on the family. However, there are some consistencies that most families can collectively become aware of to provide the best support to the individual and the family unit.

The A.W.A.K.E.N Project seeks to enhance the lives of  families whose lives have been touched by autism through healing and serenity by providing rejuvenation retreats. The organization offers immersion therapies, body healing treatments, fun group activities, and time to play freely at their camp-style retreat to create an energy of healing and renewal for the whole family.

“At A.W.A.K.E.N retreats, children on the spectrum are celebrated for exactly who they are. They will have joy-filled days with fun and relaxing activities as well as play-based therapies to support their interests and needs,” states the organization. 

The retreat also introduces children on the spectrum to a specially designed diet aimed to heal the body and gut, allowing massive leaps in communication and an increase in focus for them! 

Amber Hopkins, of the Million Mom Movement, credits Purium products with helping her provide proper nutrition to her daughter with autism. She uses Biome Medic and Immuno-Max for their gut supporting ingredients, Fulvic Zeolite and Cracked Cell Chlorella for their detoxing qualities, and Purium’s Kids In-Focus to help her daughter stay focused. 

“When my child was little, she was extremely sick. She rarely slept, she had very few words, and she screamed for hours every day. She wasn’t progressing like other kids and her gut was one of the main issues.” says Amber. 

“I am so grateful that Purium came into my life right when I had the most intense need. It offered so many products with such fantastic ingredients to support all aspects of a healthy holistic system. My child is now a thriving, healthy, and happy kid and I have Purium to thank for being such a big part of her change.” 

CLICK HERE to learn more about Amber’s story or listen to her Fierce Friday interview with the MMM Council Members. 

CLICK HERE to schedule a retreat with the A.W.A.K.E.N Project or donate! 

If you are a family experiencing an autism Diagnosis consider the following:

  1. Foundational Nutrition optimizes all body functions.
  2. Mineral Deficiencies are common in autism Diagnosis
  3. Gut health is important to examine. From probiotic imbalances to parasites and yeast overgrowth, healing the gut helps improve overall health.
  4. Detox can be an important part of helping those with an autism Diagnosis find balance. Consider detoxing heavy metals and glyphosate as a starting point.
  5. Adrenal imbalance can play a part in behavioral imbalance.


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