Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Autism Spectrum Disorder

This is my nephew. He loves to do crazy faces every time I photograph him. The writings on the wall? He did it too. Not a pleasant sight for grown ups but for him it is an artwork. Before he reached 2 years old, he knows how to read words like college, science, university and masters the numbers 1 up to 10. He loves my collection of books such as Reader's Digest, Atlas, Encyclopaedia and loves to look at books with only letters on it. He is so amazing! But, his intelligence is unusual. Then, my brother took him to a doctor and later found out he is an autistic. Parents usually feel paralyzed and isolated when they discover their child has autism.
But, we take it lightly. He is so adorable and smart so, we, the whole family is trying to understand what is autism. His mom, a licensed Engineer stop working and becomes a stay-at-home mom to really focus and give him the attention he needs. Attending seminars on how to handle autistic child and online research helped the family a lot.

There are so many websites that are really inspiring such as which recently announced the launch of its free online support community. The online service is rapidly growing with already thousands of members around the world. The site connects families and individuals touched by autism spectrum disorder (ASD), provides support and insight and acts as a resource guide for treatments, strategies and therapies. This is good for families with autistic child because this will serve as a platform for individuals’ stories of success and challenge. By exchanging knowledge and by learning others experience, somehow it promotes further understanding about autism.
My nephew is 7 years old now and is attending in a regular private school. Most of the classmates had the understanding that my nephew is different from them. The classmates respected him because he is a good reader than most of them and even got perfect scores most of the exams. The teacher is very patient on him even if while she is having discussions, my nephew is at the mini library. When the teacher says it's time for seatwork and quizz, he returns to his seat and listen to the instructions, answers and get back to his world of interest. Quizz result? Perfect! And oh by the way, he looks very normal, you wouldn't know he is autistic because he can really interact. The first thing you would notice with him is that he is so hyper.

That is why, knowing about is truly amazing. The key features of the community include matching those members seeking similar support with one another, the ability to create appointments virtually or in actual locations between members, community groups for open sharing of information, user blogs, chat and capabilities for members to host and share personal photos and documents. The Autism Support Network also includes resource listings across the United States, Canada, England and India.

Today 1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism, with a new case diagnosed every 20 minutes and is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States today. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined. Autism is characterized by impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication and unusual, repetitive or severely limited activities and interests. Other ASDs include Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). Males are four times more likely to have autism than females.

To know more about autism, visit and be informed.

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