What is Autism?
Autism is referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD and is a developmental disability that can cause a range of mild to severe social, communication and behavioral challenges. Most people with autism look like other people but their behavior, social skills and communication are markedly different than people without the disorder.
Diagnosis Criteria are Specific in these Areas
Verbal & Nonverbal Communication Deficits
Social Skill Deficits
Restricted and/or Repetitive Behavior
In addition to the deficits included in the diagnostic criteria, children with ASD exhibit other deficits and symptoms which greatly impact daily living. Many of these outward issues and symptoms have an underlying medical cause which, when treated, can be reduced in severity. For example, a sleep problem should not be considered “part of a child’s autism diagnosis” but instead should be explored to find the underlying cause which could be reflux, constipation, migraines or other treatable problem. Each issue can be explored to find answers for treatments specific to the individual.
Challenges faced by families of a child diagnosed with Autism
Lack of language
Lack of support
Severe food allergies
One in 59 children has been diagnosed with ASD. Early diagnosis can help families get their child necessary treatments. Early and intensive behavioral intervention, medical treatment and speech therapy will help with best outcome.
"The autism diagnosis hit us like a ton of bricks. We were told that there was not much we could do to help him. We were lost, hopeless and heartbroken. I refer to those first few weeks as the dark days. Then we found TACA. TACA was the light that brought us out of the darkness. They gave the one thing that no one else had: HOPE! Hope that he would speak again, hope that he could get better, hope that he could be happy and healthy and live an amazing life. TACA connected us to doctors, specialist and an army of families walking our same path, who refused to give up. I cannot imagine where my family or my Jude would be today had we never found this amazing organization. With the help of our TACA tribe, Jude is getting so much better!"
Sara from Visalia, California