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What I Wish Everyone Knew About Autism.


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Autism Spectrum Disorder, or autism, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts brain development causing most individuals to experience communication problems, difficulty with social interactions and a tendency to repeat specific patterns of behaviour. There is also a markedly restricted repertoire of activities and interests.

The term “spectrum” refers to a continuum of severity or developmental impairment. Children and adults with ASD usually have particular characteristics in common, but the conditions cover a wide spectrum, with individual differences in:
  • The number and particular kinds of symptoms
  • Severity: mild to severe
  • Age of onset
  • Levels of functioning
  • Challenges with social interactions
According to the latest estimates (March 2014) from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)” This represents a 30% increase in the prevalence rate previously reported by the CDC.

My two oldest grandsons have both been diagnosed with the Autism Spectrum. 

The eldest has several physical disabilities as well as the perception disabilities that go with it. He can be the sweetest boy but then his brain will short circuit. He is a big boy as well and in full overload can be a bit dangerous, without the intention to be so. He is fascinated with building things and when introduced to lego he became slightly more manageable. It gave him an outlet for the anger that comes with overload. 

The younger one has been dealing with fear and anxiety for most of his life. For him, music and dance are his outlets. As much as possible when he gets into overload we turn on the music and that calms him right down. He is especially fond of Journey and NKOTB, (two of my daughters' favourite groups).  The only problem is that sometimes it has the opposite effect especially if the music is louder than about a two on the speakers. When that happens I put him to work making a story scene using the mini-figures and lego blocks, That always seems to work.

I do not envy my daughter the job of raising them at all, in fact, I wish there were more ways to help her & her husband to cope and to make their life a bit easier. I wish there were more resources available to help them in this town and more people who can understand and empathize with them.


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