Online Parent Support Chat

2.9.06

Re: Autism

Question:
Would anybody happen to have first hand experience in dealing with an autistic child? We have some concerns about our 'soon-to-be' 4-year-old?
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Response:

I don't have an autistic child, but I can tell you what I know about it:It's a brain disorder that interferes with a person's ability to communicate with and relate to others. It usually develops before a child is 3 years old, although the condition is sometimes not diagnosed until later. Typically, parents first become concerned when they notice that their toddler doesn't begin to talk or doesn't respond and interact like other children of the same age. Toddlers with autism don't usually develop speech normally and may seem to be deaf.Also, autism tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic link. Some experts also believe that environmental factors may play a part in causing autism. But in any case, a cause has not been identified yet.
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Response:
I don't have an autistic child, but I was one. I remember my parents telling me how when they put me to sleep in my cribe they’d give me old newspapers and sheets of scrap paper to tear up. I’d spread them around me, lie down and go to sleep.They did a great job of dealing with my autism creatively. My father, a lawyer, could afford to send me to a good school where I got help from empathic teachers, therapists and psychiatrists. My own efforts and persistence also helped.Today, I'm a landscaper ...I'm married and have one daughter. So don't let any one tell you that autism if a 'death-sentence' -- far from it.

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