Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"Autism Awareness Month- Understanding the Spectrum"

As most of you know, autism is a disorder that affects American children across the country. Boys are more common to develop autism than girls. It is important to evaluate three key skills to distinguish possible symptoms of autism. If a child has a lack of social interaction, communication, and displays odd behaviors, they may have the disorder. Many parents don't want to admit that there is something wrong with their child, so they choose to ignore it, which is a big mistake. It's vital for a child to have the appropriate tools available to excel in life. If parents don't seek professional help, they risk damaging their child more than ever. Depending on the type of autism, the child may loose all sense of communication with the world without some physical aid. According to WebMD, there are five types of autism, which consist of Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Autistic Disorder, Rett Syndrome, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Asperger's syndrome is the most common and less severe of them all. Children become focused on one subject and memorize all of its trends. They are able to develop social skills to move on with their lives, but are at risk for anxiety and depression as they grow (WebMD). These children are not a lost cause. They need a a little help to succeed. Many people think a disorder affects a child's intelligence, but they're wrong. Autistic children are actually smarter than most "normal" children. Children with PDD-NOS lack social abilities, have few language skills, few repetitive behaviors, and a later diagnostic age (WebMD). Most children with PDD-NOS don't have the same symptoms, which makes it more difficult to diagnose. They lye in between the spectrum. Children with autistic disorder have severe impairments in language skills and often suffer from mental retardation or seizures. This results in childhood disintegrative disorder or Rett syndrome (WebMD). Rett syndrome is genetic and affects more girls than boys. These girls lose all ability to communicate with the world. It's extremely difficult for a parent to watch their child lose these skills. They often become ashamed of their child and choose to lock them away because they can't handle it. Your child needs you. The last type of autism CDD occurs when a child loses multiple areas of functioning and occurs in more boys than girls. These children never recover their functions (WebMD). It's vital that America supports these children. They are human beings who need an extra helping hand. My mom used to babysit a child with severe autism who was locked away in a room in her house. My mother was told not to communicate with her. That didn't keep my mom away. As soon as her parents left, she opened the door to the dungeon and went in. The child stood there, staring at a wall. My mother would play with her hair and she would hold her hand. There is nothing wrong with these children. All they need is extra love and attention. Don't let your selfishness get the best of you. Choose to help your child as soon as you can if you believe they have any of the symptoms listed above. Remember, God only blesses us with what he believes that we can handle. Don't be ashamed of your child, they are a part of you. I have a lot of patience with children and at one time, my dream was to work with autistic children. I decided that I couldn't do it because some parents are extremely self centered and hurt their children more than help them.

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