A mother struggles to comfort a toddler who won’t stop screaming. A father wistfully holds a football as he watches his son stare into space, wondering if he will ever play with other children. Two young parents sit in a doctor’s office stunned, as they are informed their child will face a lifetime of challenges. These are scenes playing out all over the world as cases of autism spectrum disorder are on the rise.
The diagnosis of autism often brings more questions than answers. Did I do something to cause this? If not, what did cause this? What can I do for my child? There is also the feeling of disappointment, as everyone has expectations when starting a family. Knowing that a child is going to have challenges is overwhelming, and it is essential for parents to know they did not cause it nor are they alone. There are therapies to assist with communicating and behavior control, along with good support groups.
What Is Autism?
Each case of autism is unique, and cannot be simply summed up. The spectrum is inclusive of a group classified as Pervasive Development Disorders, or delays in social and communication skills.