Get your Radar on. Know the signs of autism.
For your kids:
Early intervention gives children with autism spectrum disorders the best chance at success throughout all aspects of life.
If you suspect your child has autism, take a deep breath and find a quiet moment to read [THIS]. If you’re so inclined, pour yourself a soothing beverage first. Then go [HERE] and complete this checklist which is not a substitution for a clinical diagnosis but can be helpful in recognizing the symptoms.
If you still have suspicions, then make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician and bring the list with you. Give the office a head’s up and tell them you’d like to be sure your appointment is padded with plenty of time for discussing your concerns about autism. Get yourself a post-visit Buddy who will be available to you for an After Action Review (AAR – sorry, military term).
For yourself and humanity:
You do not need to personally know someone with autism to get your Radar on. With current numbers as high as 1 in 88 kids in the US you should tune in and be ready to accept and understand these amazing individuals and the gifts they have to offer all of us.
It doesn’t take long to acquire ‘Autism Radar’ – and you don’t need to be a Member of the Club to have it. If you are a Member – Welcome. You are never alone.
The fact is that if most folks understood the basics about autism spectrum disorder, persons with autism and their families would have a much easier time navigating through the everyday.
Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disability. As a spectrum disorder, challenges vary greatly from one person to another. It primarily affects communication and social abilities. A person with autism may have repetitive behaviors that interfere with functioning, or limited interests that they perseverate (stim) on. Severe sensitivity to noise, lighting, changes in routine are prominent. A child with autism may have tremendous difficulty with fine motor skills — holding a pencil, toileting and other self-help skills such as buttoning a shirt are extremely challenging. Feeding difficulties, digestive disorders and a limited variety of food preference also affect the medical health of a child with autism.
So next time you’re in line at the store and a parent struggles with their child who seems to be wildly misbehaving – reserve your judgement and instead offer a helping hand.
[Editor's Note: I don't have a medical degree nor do I hold a doctorate in autism, but I certainly have earned some credits being an aunt, mother and family friend to so many on the spectrum. Don't bother starting an argument with me if I use a term you disagree with, or if your own experiences with autism are different than mine. However, I always welcome healthy discussion and appreciate learning from what others see. I don't favor any particular organizations over others, and I am not interested in wasted energy arguing who's right. Please use this site as intended and be respectful of each other. Thank you.]