When my son was diagnosed with autism in 2002, I had no knowledge of where to begin. Autism was a word that I had heard perhaps 3 or 4 times in my life. I had read bits and pieces here and there in magazines, but I never paid much attention to them. Until it happened to me.
I found articles on diet change, ABA treatment, hyperbaric oxygen, medications, and a whole laundry list of things I could try. But after a lot of research and trying different things, I found the perfect balance of diet and therapy that worked for my child. My suggestion is to stay in constant communication with your child’s Pediatrician. With your ideas and his/her knowledge, you can get a grasp on it’s effects and begin treating your child.
After my son’s diagnosis, I vowed to get to the bottom of the causes and treatments for this mysterious disorder. I Googled autism and was instantly snowed under! There were pages and pages of articles and sites for me to visit. This was my starting point. In the words of Jenny McCarthy, “Google would become my best friend.”
My son’s doctor told me that autism has always existed. Unfortunately, years ago, autism was merely passed off as ADD, ADHD, MR, OCD, or just a very misbehaved child. These disorders often go hand in hand with Autism. The key is figuring out which ones fit your child’s behaviors and getting the appropriate treatment at an early age.
I promised myself and my son that I would talk freely about autism to anyone who had an ear to listen. I wanted this to be my life’s passion to get the word out and find a cure. Though I feel there may never be a cure, there is treatment and there is hope. Every child is different and not one has the exact same symptoms. But there is healing for each and every one. The level of recovery is different for each child but the end result is always astounding.
If I can get the word out to just one, I have made a difference. I want autism to be something Mom’s sit and talk about over coffee. I want this to be what talk shows discuss often. Awareness is a big part of why so many new treatments are out there today.
If you think your child may have autism I urge you to talk with your Pediatrician.
Some signs of autism are: hand flapping/stimming, repetitive, unusual behavior, loss of speech and/or eye contact, communication shortage, lack or refusal to be social, and sensory issues. These are just a few of the signs to look for in your child. Make the doctor aware of your child’s behaviors. Talk about treatment and have a plan of action for your child. The longer the child goes without treatment, the more challenging it is for your child to recover.
Today, 1 percent of the population of children in the U.S. ages 3-17 have an autism spectrum disorder and it is three to four times more common in boys than girls. The average increase of autism spectrum disorder diagnoses was 57 percent. One community actually reported a 95 percent increase in autism cases. Could this be an environmental issue? We simply do not know for sure.
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Upon presenting all of these mind blowing statistics, why is this not talked about more? I am in no way saying that we should stop talking about other health issues, I am just asking for a little more attention concerning this problem. This is rapidly becoming an epidemic. The odds of a child being diagnosed with Autism in 2001, was 1 in 150. Today, the odds are 1 in 110. What is causing such a jump in the statistics in such a short period of time?
Don’t let Autism fall through the cracks. Let’s solve this extremely complex puzzle once and for all. No child should have to live without treatment. There may not be a cure, but there is hope.