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Don Yute to be special star guest at AUTISM AWARDS BANQUET Featured

Entertainment News Written by  CONTRIBUTED Saturday, 29 December 2012 08:53 font size decrease font size increase font size 0
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    Keeping his commitment to using his brand to help the disabled and Autistic of his homeland, CEO of the Golden Child Music Label based in the United States – Jason Williams; music veteran Don Yute will be this year’s special music star guest at the second annual Autism and Disabilities Ambassadors Awards banquet slated for April 28-2013 – during world Autism month.  

Last year music was twinned with the event; when young music powerhouse Chino McGregor was the special guest at the first ever Autism and Disabilities Awards Banquet sponsored by the Wyndham Kingston Jamaica. The inaugural event coincided with the fourth anniversary of the Foundation.

Friday January 4-2013 will mark the official launch of the third staging of The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation (MCADF), competition the Autism and Disabilities Ambassadors Competition. 

The competition a creation of the MCADF in 2010 represents the flagship programme of the Foundation that culminates in April 2013, when the winners are chosen and awarded – the Foundation’s major activity for global Autism month. Global Autism month is commemorated every year around the world during April; and is used to highlight and sensitize the world about the growing phenomenon of the disorder which is still growing at alarming rates, with still no definitive cure or consistently identifiable cause for the proliferation of the disorder among all the world’s populations.

The Autism and Disabilities Ambassadors competition is geared towards secondary school Jamaicans between the ages of 12 and 18 years old. 
Open to every school in the country, the students can download their entry forms from the Foundation Facebook pageshttps://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Maia-Chung-Autism-and-Disabilities-Foundation/100339660027871?ref=hl, orhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Maia-Chung-Autism-Disabilities-Foundation/355491201260?ref=hl - as well as from the MCADF print media partners who support the competition each year and will publish the forms for the month of January only.

Students can also email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for clarification on any area they may need help with. Calls can be directed to 876-350-0465.
Competitors need a form to be officially entered, and will have to be supervised by a teacher or guidance counselor for the duration of their work to authenticate the work being done - to become Autism and Disabilities Ambassadors.

The entrants have the entire month of January 2013 starting on January 4 to collect their entry forms, from the various available channels and their work for the competition is expected to officially begin on January 31-2013.

It is imperative that the competitors get their forms and have them signed off by their supervisors and have them submitted to the Foundation by this date.
Their work is expected to begin on the 31st of January 2013and end on April 1-2013.

The students who enter the competition will spend three months volunteering with disabled persons and or groups in their community, which means church, neighborhood or school; or any convenient group that qualifies as disabled people in need of help and service.

The entrants will be required to designed posters and displays to be mounted at their school, libraries, churches to highlight the needs of the disabled community and this will form a part of the sensitization of the greater public to the needs of the disabled Jamaican population.

At the end of the three month period, an essay is to be emailed to the MCADF account by the entrants detailing what has been learned during the period and why it is important that normal (neurotypical Jamaicans) assist the disabled and be a catalyst for change to foster better conditions for the nation’s disabled.

The premise of the competition is to spark awareness among the next generation of Jamaicans who will have to deal with Autism and Disabilities, hopefully to encourage these young people to seek professions and solutions that will help the nation progress in this very problematic area.

The panel of judges remains the same; members of the board of directors as well as members of the sponsorship team for the competition.

Managing Director of the Foundation Maia Chung is happy that year after year civil society continues to be agents of changes by pledging their resources, to help the vulnerable. The competition already has its regular line up of supporters such as the Mavis Bank Coffee Factory, Jablum, Patron of the MCADF Senator Norman Grant, Super Plus Food Stores, Golden Child Music Group, MCTV (Maia Chung Television), Outaroad.com, Billionaire Entertainment, Maia’s Journal and additional sponsors which will be announced in short order.

Last year saw the inaugural staging of the Wyndham Kingston Jamaica sponsored Autism and Disabilities Awards Banquet on the Foundations anniversary April 28-2012. This year the Foundation celebrates half a decade of existence.

The premise of the competition is to spark awareness among the next generation of Jamaicans who will have to deal with Autism and Disabilities, hopefully to encourage these young people to seek professions and solutions that will help the nation progress in this very problematic area.
The Wyndham Kingston Jamaica has consistently championed the Autism and Disabilities agenda; making the issue a primary focus of their tourism outreach and donating hundreds of thousands of dollars towards helping families understand the issues, through support for programmes mounted by advocacy groups in the nation.

Prizes include laptops for the winners and their school computer labs, CSEC grants, trophies, grants for the supervising teachers and paid internships.
In the publication Science Daily it has been revealed in research released this month that - “… findings provide some insights into the underlying basis of autism -- that, surprisingly, the genome is not shy about tinkering with its important genes".

"To the contrary, disease-causing genes tend to be hyper mutable."
Autism researcher Sebat and collaborators from Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego and BGI genome center in China sequenced the complete genomes of identical twins with autism spectrum disorder and their parents.

When they compared the genomes of the twins to the genomes of their parents, the scientists identified many "germline" mutations (genetic variants that were present in both twins but not present in their mother or father).
Nearly 600 germline mutations -- out of a total of 6 billion base pairs -- were detected in the 10 pairs of identical twins sequenced in the study. 
An average of 60 mutations was detected in each child.

"The total number of mutations that we found was not surprising," said Sebat, "it's exactly what we would expect based on the normal human mutation rate." 
What the authors did find surprising was that mutations tended to cluster in certain regions of the genome. When the scientists looked carefully at the sites of mutation, they were able to determine the reasons why some genomic regions are "hot" while other regions are cold.

"Mutability could be explained by intrinsic properties of the genome," said UC San Diego postdoctoral researcher Jacob Michaelson, lead author of the study. "We could accurately predict the mutation rate of a gene based on the local DNA sequence and its chromatin structure, meaning the way that the DNA is packaged."

The researchers also observed some remarkable examples of mutation clustering in an individual child, where a shower of mutations occurred all at once. 
"When multiple mutations occur in the same place, such an event has a greater chance of disrupting a gene," said Michaelson.

Autism is defined by the Autism Society of America (ASA) as: "Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. 

Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.

Autism is one of five disorders that falls under the umbrella of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), a category of neurological disorders characterized by “severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development."

Most signs or characteristics of Autism are evident in the areas of speech or communication (verbal and non-verbal). Many of the signs or symptoms of Autism begin presenting themselves between 2 and 6 years of age.

The research indicates the following symptoms are the most commonly found characteristics of Autism: 
The child is unable to coo by 12 months.
The child also does not point or gesture by 12 months.
The child does not say single words by 16 months.
The child does not say 2 or more words by 24 months.
The child has lost some of social skills or language abilities.

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