autism spectrum disorder
Ashley Wright was just trying to take her kids to the zoo when a man approached them.
The Canadian Pediatric Society has no guidelines for these kids.
New research reveals more and more children are presenting with both disorders.
People on the autism spectrum have a unique view of the world.
Symptoms of ASD can vary wildly.
You'll understand like never before.
They welcome travellers of every age.
Let's set the record straight.
There is no cure for autism, but we've had solid peer-reviewed evidence for decades that Intensive Behaviour Intervention (IBI) based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) can have a dramatic impact on the development of kids with autism. Unfortunately, the treatment is not covered by medicare across the country.
Too often well-meaning journalists get it wrong when they write about autism. It's not so much the content of their stories that misses the mark as the language they use to describe autism itself. Reflecting on autism in a more nuanced manner using these basic pointers can help you avoid simplistic depictions and understand the true, lived experiences of those on the autism spectrum and those who support them.
Our son, Casey, has autism, a neuro-developmental disorder that is often characterized by rigid and repetitive behaviours, difficulty with social communication and uneven intellectual development, among many other challenges. Regular participation in an integrated public school has not always been easy for him.
As the debate rages on in Ontario over access to provincially funded Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) therapy for children with autism over the age of five, let's not forget about autism's close cousin, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Over the years, Autism Canada has talked to thousands of parents and there has been a similar refrain. Early diagnosis didn't happen for their children because too many well-intentioned health practitioners and educators dismissed early red flags and parental concerns in favour of a "wait and see" approach.
My husband and I recently received a note home from the school teacher of our eight-year-old son, Casey. She wanted to inform us that Casey had been caught lying about a misdeed, and that this wasn't the first time. Our response? We whooped and high fived. Yes, that's right -- we gave each other a high five. Why?
It's not an exaggeration to say we have an autism services crisis in Canada. Evidence shows that proper health and educational supports for those affected by autism pay off. Early intervention is key and heads off more expensive and extensive supports that are needed later in life if early intervention is not provided.
At the age of 2, a child has a vocabulary of at least 50-100 words. If your child is still only using a few words and has not caught up with peers, it could be the sign of a language delay.
Many organizations and affected families across the country have been calling for a national autism strategy. The wide range in disparity of publicly funded services for autism across the country has even generated a kind of "medical migration" with several published accounts of families leaving their home provinces (most commonly, Atlantic provinces, Ontario and Quebec) to move to Alberta or British Columbia where autism services are more readily available and/or more flexible. It is also no longer uncommon to find Canadian families using crowdsourcing campaigns to fund their children's autism and related therapies.
Kids with autism are also often singular in their attention to the things they love and the things that give them pleasure; this sometimes makes them wholly present and pure receptacles of joy. In my son Casey's case, he dreamt of city buses.
The problem is that an ASD is a permanent neurological disorder; it doesn't go away, but rather confirms itself over time. As parents of children with special needs, we each have to find our path. Over time, we all find our way. For me this was, and continues to be, a lesson in acceptance and redefining my values.