April is recognized as National Autism Awareness Month and although thousands of our children are affected by it, many of us aren’t exactly ‘in the know’ about the symptoms, it’s significance or it’s different stages.
So What IS Autism?
It’s a communication disability that’s found in children that tends to continue on throughout their adult lives. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that 1 in every 88 children have been identified as being autistic. Children from EVERY racial and socioeconomic background have been diagnosed with it.
There are many different forms of autism but the 5 most common types are Asperger’s Disorder, Kanner’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Rett’s Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
How Can I Tell If My Child Has It?
People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have problems with verbal/nonverbal communication, socializing and routine behavior.
Can It Be Treated?
Autism can’t be cured, but there ARE ways to minimize the symptoms with medication, behavioral therapy and educational resources. Public schools are mandated to provide education from 3 years old to high school (or age 21, which ever comes first). Typically, there are a team of teachers and school psychologists that work closely with autistic students to better assist them with their educational experiences.
Is it preventable?
No. However, older couples who choose to have babies have a greater risk of having children with ASD.
Boys and siblings of autistic children are also at a higher risk.
Even though children with autism have a strong will be on their own, they will require a lot of love and guidance to that road of becoming independent.