Autism is a huge challenge, writes J.B. Handley. We all do the best we can… Some people’s “best” just happens to be better than other people’s “best” — and that’s the truth.
Let me put it to you a different way. I’ve met a number of parents who recovered (be all they can be and more) to their children. They share many common traits, the same kinds of traits that employers tend to love: they think outside the box, they’re resourceful, they fight like hell. And, they never give up. Even, perhaps, when they should give up. To a person, they are fighters. To a person, they are outside the box thinkers. Fighting like hell and thinking outside the box and never giving up doesn’t mean your child will recover. But, it sure as heck raises the odds.
It is estimated that pervasive development disorders occurs in about 5 to 15 children per 10,000 births. In general, PDDs are more common in boys than in girls, with the exception of Rett’s syndrome, which occurs almost always in girls.
General symptoms that may be present to some degree in a child with a PDD include:
- Difficulty with verbal communication, including problems using and understanding language.
- Difficulty with non-verbal communication, such as gestures and facial expressions.
- Difficulty with social interaction, including relating to people and to his or her surroundings.
- Unusual ways of playing with toys and other objects.
- Difficulty adjusting to changes in routine or familiar surroundings.
- Repetitive body movements or patterns of behavior, such as hand flapping, spinning and, head banging.
- Changing response to sound. (The child may be very sensitive to some noises and seem to not hear others.)
- Temper tantrums
- Difficulty sleeping
- Aggressive behavior
- Fearfulness or anxiety (nervousness)
There are five types of pervasive development disorders:
- Autism: Many (nearly 75%) of children with autism also have some degree of mental retardation.
- Asperger’s syndrome: children with Asperger’s have average or above average intelligence, and develop normally in the areas of language and cognition (the mental processes related to thinking and learning).
- Childhood disintegrative disorder: Children with this rare condition begin their development normally in all areas, physical and mental.
- Rett’s syndrome: This condition has been linked to a defect on the X chromosome, so it almost always affects girls.
- Sensory dysfunction: Certain qualities of touch, sound or movement are known to be distracting and unpleasant in some sufferers, while others may not even notice a particular sound or color, which can make everyday activities difficult.
Plan for the care of your special-needs child
1. Set up a second trust
2. Ramp up savings
3. Plan for three retirements