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"I have been changed for good..."

Just a quick few words-

Today was my last day at WCRH. I found out today that there was a HUGE layoff, and alot of the people I have grown to care about lost their jobs. It's really the first time I have been exposed to just how horrible it is out there- the economy in general is in a shambles, and for the first time I am seeing it real life instead of played out by experts on The Today Show. It's the first time in nine years that I have had only one job, and I am feeling blessed to even have that!

Pete and I are hardly people who live in the lap of luxury, but we are really going to have to make some changes. We had planned on my having two jobs this summer in order to put away some money, but unless I am able to find something, that's going to change, so I can't help but feel very stressed out about our future. At least the next 6-9 months, anyway.

That said, I can look back on the past 4 1/2 years and feel so blessed for all of the things I have had the opportunity to do. I have seen the miracle of a young girl, shot in the head at two years old, go home as an atypical but very much alive 5 year old. I also had to say goodbye to a very special treasure of a 4 year old much too soon. I've met kids I will never, ever forget and who have changed my life for the better. I've also been lucky enough to make some fantastic friends. So even though I am hoping there is something else for me,it's hard to see his chapter of my life close.

But, if I ever need a laugh, there's always this picture of the apple I was going to eat after dinner, which instead was assaulted by my friend Kevin:

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{...stream of consciousness}

Today is April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, and it is Autism Awareness Month.

The month begins on the heels of news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Autism is on the rise. 1 in 68 children in the areas followed by the CDC are identified as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder, up from 1 in 88 just a few years ago. In New Jersey, the numbers are far higher then the national average at 1 in 45. 

You can view a summary of the latest CDC report here, but there are two points of the report that stood out to me:
Less than half (44%) of children identified with ASD were evaluated for developmental concerns by the time they were 3 years old.Most children identified with ASD were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as age 2.Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
PJ was diagnosed with Autism shortly after his second birthday. Pete and I had already utilized an e…