I read recently that in the not to distant future almost half of all children born in the USA will have some form of autism. That is an interesting statistic and if true, it would be wise to research and understand exactly what autism is.
Autism is, generally speaking, a disorder that impairs communication and social interaction. This is a very broad definition as with anything, one diagnosis does not fit all. The great takeaway from the research I read was that detection can happen as early as 2 years old, possibly sooner. Especially if your little one is not meeting all of the milestones in a given amount of time. Thus, if you are concerned that your child is not meeting most of the big milestones during their checkups, ask your child’s pediatrician about the concerns you have and the possibility of autism.
Now, what do you do if your child has been diagnosed? Where do you even begin? I have a lot of friends who have recently had their children diagnosed with autism. Of course each child has a different form of autism, but upon hearing about their symptoms I had not realized that autism varied in said symptoms. Some children were still able to communicate in their own way while others couldn’t hear you let alone make eye contact. I have even come across autistic children and adults in various places and it is interesting to see the different spectrums across the different age groups. Before reading about autism a long time ago I would not have been able to understand let alone communicate with an autistic person. Upon reading recently about the different types of autism I definitely wouldn’t have been able to communicate with friends children or be able to try and teach my children how to interact with autistic kids and adults.
The takeaway from this is that even though you might not have or know any autistic children or adults, chances are that you will come across an autistic person once in your lifetime. It’s best to be prepared for these encounters and having at least some information on approaching or even communicating with an autistic person is better than nothing. So, the only advice I will give is this:
Better to know and not need, then to need and not know.
If you’re looking for information for yourself or your child, this resource might be helpful.
If you’d like general information regarding autism try this site.
And if you’d like to learn more about the different spectrums please visit this site.
I hope this provides some helpful insight into autism and understanding. If you have any other information, sites, or even personal experience that you think would help others, please share it in the comments below or send them to my email [email protected] and will post for others. The more the information is available the easier the awareness will be.
Until next time,