When my twins were born, I thought I had as much as I could handle. Many years later, I met a new friend in a business group online who had five year old twins, both with autism. I follow her adventures online! Her experiences sometimes make me smile, sometimes laugh hysterically, and sometimes I cry. They are nine years old now and I feel like I know them.
What I come away with after all of these years following their story, coupled with my experiences as a teacher with children who have autism — is that the community needs to be more helpful to these families. We can’t really be helpful if we don’t understand what we can do, and what we should not do. Read on for some basic info and please share your questions and your stories!
Take the Quiz!
The purpose of this post is to stimulate conversations between families who live with the challenges that autism brings and others in the community who want to know what they can do.
Since April is Autism Awareness month, it’s a good time to begin reading about the issues. My friend and her husband have been kicked out of doctor’s offices, restaurants, and other places when their children have had very loud meltdowns. I often wonder if someone who knows what to do were in those places, maybe the outcomes would have been different.
Here is one significant fact from my own reading to help all of us understand better. It’s from a book by Temple Grandin — a woman with autism — an author and veterinarian. She explains that some people with autism can hear what is going on inside a house down the street. The sounds of everything can be so overwhelming that walking down a hall can sound like a roaring river. I don’t know about you, but I would want to turn the sound off!
Tell Us Your Story!
The rest of this article is from Autism Speaks. The photo attached to this post is from their website. Consider purchasing one as a donation to Autism Speaks! Please comment below if you have questions about autism, or if you are a parent or other caregiver who knows how we can help you when you are in public.
The CDC estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in every 68 children in the United States. Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Autism Speaks encourages parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes.
Autism Speaks is dedicated increasing understanding and acceptance of autism.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.
The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.
Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. Autism Speaks urges parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes.
Some Facts About Autism
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
- An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults – and lose school-based autism services – each year.
- Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.
- Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.
- Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.
Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.
Please tell us your stories or your questions! Thank you,