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(Continued from Part I…)


Autism can affect anyone at any span in their life, but research has shown that early diagnosis can lead to a better quality of life. Things to watch for in young children include:

  • Prefers solitary play rather than playing with other children/peers.
  • Prefers predictable, structured play over spontaneous or make-believe play.
  • May not respond to name being called.
  • Struggles to make eye contact to communicate interests and/or needs. 

Therapies take up the large bulk of treatment and support of those living with Autism.

Occupational therapy teaches skills that help the person live as independently as possible.

Sensory integration therapy helps the person deal with sensory issues.

Behavior and communication therapies address the range of social, language and behavior difficulties associated with ASD.

Speech therapy helps to improve the person’s communication skills.

Education therapy are highly structured educational programs that children with ASD often respond well to.

The prognosis for a child with autism depends on the severity of their initial symptoms but can be influenced by early intervention and treatment. For years autism was thought to be irreversible. While autism is a lifelong condition, there are now evidence-based treatments that can help and support people with autism.

This April, across the world Autism Acceptance is celebrated. In order to accept those living with Autism, we first must understand what Autism is, the diagnosis of it, the treatment of it and the prognosis of it.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex, lifelong developmental condition that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation.

The way Autism affects everyone is different. It is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is often referred to as a “spectrum condition” that affects people differently and to varying degrees.

While there is no known cause of Autism, early diagnosis helps a person receive resources that can support the choices and opportunities needed to live a full and successful life.

Autism is diagnosed by persistent differences in communication, interpersonal relationships, and social interaction across different environments. This can look like: 

  • Being nonverbal, nonspeaking, or having atypical speech patterns, having trouble understanding nonverbal communication, difficulty making and keeping friends, difficulty maintaining typical back-and-forth conversational style. 

Autism is also diagnosed by restricted and repetitive behavior, patterns, activities, and interests. This can look like: 

  • Repeating sounds or phrases, repetitive movements, preference for sameness and difficulty with transition or change in routine, extreme sensitivity to low sensitivity to sensory stimuli. 

(Continued in Part II…)

Here are some surprising clues that could mean that you are more apt to being diagnosed with skin cancer than others…


Clue #1:  You wear flip-flops often.  If you wear flip-flops most of the spring and summer, your feet are prone to more sun exposure and sun damage than those who wear socks and shoes. 

Clue #2:  You wear baseball hats.  While baseball hats protect your head from sun damage, your ears are constantly exposed and are often overlooked when your skin is checked for signs of skin cancer. 

Clue #3:  You are a male.  Whether it’s habits, hormones, or genes, or even a combination of these three, men have three times as many squamous cancer cells and twice as many basal cancer cells as women.  Also, white men over the age of 50 have the highest incidence of melanoma. 

Clue #4:  You have dark skin.  While skin with more pigment has a natural shield against UV rays, many African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Indians get a false sense of security and 

typically do not pay much attention to protecting their skin from these harmful rays.  Skin cancer is also detected much later in dark skinned people, therefore making it harder to treat. 

Clue #5:  You live in the South or in the Mountains.  Rates of skin cancer are obviously higher in places that receive more sunlight, like in the South or in the Mountains.  Altitude is also a factor as UV radiation increases about 4 to 5 percent for every 1,000 feet above sea level. 

Clue #6: You are a runner, cyclist, or swimmer.  The more miles men and women run the greater their chance of acquiring skin cancer.  The same goes for swimmers and cyclists who spend countless hours out in the climate. 

Clue #7:  You have a lot of moles.  The average Caucasian has 30 moles – relatively round spots that are brown, red or pink.  But the moles that are asymmetrical, with raggedy borders, discoloration or changing size, are the ones that are more likely to develop into melanoma.  People over the age of 20 with more than 100 moles or people under the age of 20 with more than 50 moles are also at risk. 

Sometimes being fit isn’t just about working out, burning calories, and building muscles. Being fit also includes metal fitness. So, this month, we offer you the Self-care Challenge.

Besides working through these daily challenges, take time for yourself to meditate or walk during this month.

  • Create or reaffirm a goal.
  • Make a gratitude list.
  • Name one thing you like about yourself.
  • Create a dream/vision board.
  • Treat yourself.
  • Do a short yoga routine.
  • Do a random act of kindness.
  • Donate a thing you don’t need.
  • Share something that makes you happy.
  • Do something unusual.
  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Organize one room or closet.
  • Walk barefoot in the grass.
  • Have a movie night.
  • Start or add to a bucket list.
  • Reach out to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  • Share a thing you are proud of.
  • Color or draw a picture.
  • Track your water intake.
  • Share a recent accomplishment.
  • Give up a bad habit for the day.
  • Confront a problem, big or small.
  • Share your favorite song.
  • Compliment a stranger.
  • Make a healthy snack or meal.
  • Take a walk in nature.
  • Share a fond memory.
  • Do something fun.
  • Exercise or stretch.
  • Share how you feel after completing the challenge.
  • Mangoes are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and they are also an excellent way to replenish potassium lost through exercise or for those who are constantly “on the go.”
  • An average-sized mango can even contain up to 40 percent of your daily fiber requirement, thereby being a great way to curb constipation and irregularity.
  • Mangoes can also help to prevent certain types of cancer and help to lower blood cholesterol levels, too.

Recipe: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad 

  • ½ cup prepared or purchased honey mustard dressing
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 4 chicken breast halves without skin, boneless
  • 1 tablespoon Jamaican Jerk seasoning
  • 2 large fresh mangoes
  • 10 to 12 cups mixed greens 

Stir together honey mustard dressing and lime zest.  Cover and chill dressing while preparing chicken. 

Rinse chicken and pat dry; sprinkle with Jerk seasoning.  In a large skillet cook the seasoned chicken in hot oil over medium-high heat about 6 minutes on each side until browned and no longer pink.  Thinly slice each chicken breast. 

Arrange warm chicken and mango atop greens on four plates; drizzle with the honey mustard dressing.


Recipe:  Mango Pork 

  • 2 medium ripe mangoes
  • 1 pork tenderloin, about ¾ pound
  • Cooking spray or olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot pepper sauce 

Put pulp of one mango in food processor or blender.

Cut the other mango into small cubes.  Trim pork tenderloin and slice into 1-inch thick medallions.  Flatten slices lightly with hand.  Spray a skillet or medium saucepan with cooking spray or add a small amount of olive oil and heat on medium-high.  Brown pork for one minute on each side. Season each side with salt and pepper to taste. 

Reduce heat and cook pork another five minutes to cook through.  Remove to plate and add mango to skillet or saucepan. Cook puree about, scraping up brown bits of pork, for about 30 seconds.  Add several drops of hot sauce and the mango cubes.  Toss cubes in puree while heating through.  Spoon sauce over pork and serve with pasta or hot cooked rice.