Susan Reeks wrote -When we suspected our son Jackson was autistic (at just 18 months), I didn't know where to turn. Our pediatrician wouldn't confirm it, and we were having to wait nine months to see a pediatric neurologist. I logged onto AutismSpeaks.org and watched videos of normally developing children next to those with Autism, and burst into tears. That's how I found out Jack is Autistic. Thank God for that and all the other info we found there. We removed wheat and dairy from his diet the next day and it was one of the best things we've done for him. My son, Jackson, had never kissed me in his life before we changed his diet and started him on the road to recovery. Today, he is such a loving child and a blessing to have in our lives.
One in 110 children is on the Autism Spectrum. Once you know the characteristics, an Autistic child is easy to spot: no speech (or lost speech) as of two years of age, no eye contact, no interest in other children, no gesturing and no response to his or her name. Many have sensory issues, like eating paper and soap or having meltdowns in public places. Many have no self control and are in constant danger because they might get out of the house or bolt and run away from their caregivers. Many exhibit obsessive compulsive traits. Some exhibit fits of rage, as a result of their frustration. Every seemingly-odd thing they do, however, they do for a reason. They are lost and don't have the ability to communicate what they want, but they understand what is said about them.
Autistic children also have chronic health problems that are rarely addressed by pediatricians. Their autoimmune problems, vitamin deficiencies and allergies cause anything from rashes to joint swelling, eye swelling to digestive problems, ADHD and asthma. The problem with Autism in Louisiana, and I suspect, in a lot of other places is the lack of services to help these children.
There is no cure for autism, so families need help on many levels to just get through the day. They need someone to listen to them about how hard it is caring for someone with autism. They need help so that the family is not destroyed in the process. They need information. Please support Autism Speaks. Thank you.