Best Autism Books For Parents in 2023
A Parent's Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Second Edition: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive
An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate, and Learn
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition
The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism
Autism Spectrum Disorder: What Every Parent Needs to Know
Positive Parenting for Autism: Powerful Strategies toÂ Help Your Child Overcome Challenges and Thrive
Autism with HEART: A Guide for Parents with Newly Diagnosed Kids
Autism Every Day: Over 150 Strategies Lived and Learned by a Professional Autism Consultant with 3 Sons on the Spectrum
What is Autism?
What is Autism? Who does it affect? How is it diagnosed? What are the treatments? This is a research paper that I did for a college class on Autism, which included the signs, treatment and likely causes.
These are common questions that parents with autistic children worry and wonder about. In the mid 1900's, Dr. Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins Hospital introduced Autism from studying children and their behaviors. Autism, more commonly called ASD is a group of developmental disorders that is characterized by impaired social interaction to others, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication and severely limited interest of activities and objects. This disorder effect three to six children out of every thousand. The causes of autism aren't really clear. Many studies show that abnormal brain development, which starts as early as infancy, and genes are the cause. There is treatment and aid available to parents of autistic children. There are also programs for adolescents and adults that are living with Autism.
Parents are usually the first to notice changes in their children's behavior. In autistic children, these changes usually come on suddenly. In some cases, as early as infancy, but usually around three years of age. Some as late as ten years of age. Children will become unresponsive to others, socially withdrawn, obsessive interests and activities, increased aggressiveness, different levels of sensitivity that differ from the average child. Children with autism will start rejecting others, they will lose interest in everything and everyone around them, and they will lose the language and social skills that are previously learned. Some indicators of autism are: children no longer babble, or make meaningful gestures, hardly speaks, unresponsive to hearing their own name, poor eye contact, lack smiles, hearing impairment, and excessively lines up toys. Many children will suffer other disorders as well, from seizures to depression and anxiety disorders. With help, Autistic children thrive on routine and schedules. They like to have order in their lives. Studies show that the earlier the diagnosis is made, the more successive the treatment and outcome will be.
Currently there is no cure for Autism. There are aids available and there are several treatment options. There are some from educational and behavioral interventions, to medications and several other therapy options. Every state has specials needs programs and education services. These programs are provided from the state and are free to children with special needs. Speech therapists, nurses, psychologists and social workers and aids are available. These services are usually provided in a public school atmosphere. If your child is under the age of three, then public schools is not an option, in that case an early intervention program, which is also a state provided where workers will into the child's home. With an effective program, a child will grow and learn and will successive results, where the child will lead a semi-normal life. There are also medications available. These medications help with the behavioral problems, anxiety and depression, seizures, and hyperactivity. However, the actually effectiveness of these medicines on children for autism has not been proven and many of these medicines have not approved by the FDA.
Autism will be with your child throughout their entire lives, they do not out grow the disorder. However, many adults living with Autism manage very well. Autistic adults, with successful treatment will work and live successfully in their everyday lives; some even live independently, some with minor help with major problems, such as finances. Some adults stay at home and live with their parents with the help of government agencies. Some go to supervised group living that assists with everyday meals, housekeeping and personal care needs. Some even have the option to go to institutions for intensive and constant supervision, although, this is rare for an adult to do. Even as adults, living with Autism is hard and challenging. Many adults still need encouragement and moral support throughout the rest of their lives. Many adults will continue to grow, learn and develop throughout life, even at old age.
No one has really found a cause, nor as a cure been found. There have been many studies as to what the causes are. Many researches show a possible link to mercury from vaccinations that might lead to Autism, while other studies show that environmental and genetic causes are found to be linked to the disorder. Scientists do know that Autism can be found at an early age and those treatments are highly beneficial to the child later on in life. There has been more recent, more technical research with more promising results that point to genetic factors that play a dominant role in the disorder. The research show that abnormal brain function that leads to rapid head growth in infants are the earliest signs of Autism, however, this research is still on going. The current prevalence of Autism show a higher rate in today's society compared to thirty years ago. There are several research centers throughout the United States that specifically for the research of Autism.
I have a son, he is six months of age and he got his shots today. I interviewed his doctor about Autism. As I have stated, there was a link to autism from childhood vaccinations and I wondered if it would affect my son. Dr. Hensley, from the Pal Associates Lancaster, Ohio, she informed me that in most cases, a person will know whether his or her children have Autism. There are several signs to look for early on, while in infancy. These signs are if they are not social and do not respond with smiles to those around them, if the child does not cuddle or respond will to your touch, doesn't trade toys between one hand to the other. Hensley stated, these signs are what most doctors look for in children early on, this and whether autism runs in the family. She also stated that children run a much higher risk getting diseases that the vaccines are supposed to protect against. However, she didn't rule out that vaccines can contribute to the disorder. Dr. Hensley was very informative about the disorder. She states that the actual numbers that she feels comfortable saying are about one in every one hundred and fifty. She gave several handouts filled with info, but I have already covered the info in this research. But there is information out there for parents and relatives.
Autism is a disorder that will follow a person, through infancy to adulthood and there is no cure available for these people. And as of right now, there is no known cause as to why Autism appears in children. The most effective treatment is support and understandings of those of have Autism. Although there are treatment and medicine out there to help, children with Autism need much more than this. Love and constant encouragement and lot patience are needed for a parent. I never really understood what a parent would go through until I did this report and now that I have, I have a lot more sympathy for them. Most parent stop raising their children when they get around eighteen to twenty years of age, but with autistic children, the raising and teaching of these children last their entire life times, and often the parents out live their children. In the end, the whole family struggles and it is hard. Doctors have medicines that aren't guaranteed to work and not enough answer to parent's questions. Parents should always remember that a child with autism can lead a relatively decent life with the right treatment and attention. There are thousands of resources out there to help. There is anything from reading materials to counselors to doctors. No parent should feel despair or hopeless raising a child with disabilities and I really hope that parents don't feel this way but at the same time I do pray that a cure is found for these children and adults.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorders). (Feb. 2020). www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/autism/complete-publications.shtml
Mental Health Matters.com (2000-2001).
Autism Fact Sheet: National Insititute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (Dec. 2020).