He who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness and honor.

(Proverbs 21:21 NASB)

Changes to the Definition of Autism

It has been brought to my attention today that there are plans to make changes to the definition of Autism. Being that our 11 year old was diagnosed over 2 years ago with Aspergers Syndrome, it hits us close to home. I have seen such great positive improvements in his issues since he started getting appropriate services and supports. Below is a quote from SocialMoms

Proposed changes in the definition of autism would sharply reduce the skyrocketing rate at which the disorder is diagnosed and might make it harder for many people who would no longer meet the criteria to get health, educational and social services, a new analysis suggests. The most likely population affected are those with a high functioning child with Aspergers.

My now 11 year old was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome in 2009 after being misdiagnosed with ADHD. After the ADHD diagnosis we tried several medications, but had to stop because the side affects were either severe or causing sleep disturbances. I sadly watched a gentle natured boy become aggressive trying to defend himself in situations that he was a victim when he was being bullied by other children and staff. The lack of necessary social skills and the mimicking of others behaviors were creating much larger problems for my son.

I have had to fight for my son to be retested once the probably true diagnosis was discovered. As well as, fight for my sons rights to receive supports even with an IEP. Thankfully the efforts of helpful service providers that have been able to learn more about Autisms Spectrum Disorders we are all learning affective was to help children that fall within the wide range of parameters. Maybe what would be more affective is not misdiagnosing ADD/ADHD. I do feel they exist and they both have a certain amount of sensory integration issues. Proper diagnosis, appropriate support services could reduce the need for medication and use it when it is the only other alternative. Sensory integration issues plague both groups of kids. I've seen huge improvements with my son since he started receiving sensory breaks and we were able to get financial assistance to enable him to recieve private occupational therapy and in school. C

Too often I have seen people get corralled into the idea that only severe issues should be of importance. Helping someone with Aspergers learn to adapt and make the necessary neurological connects through service supports can enable that child to have an independence as common as driving a car. That is we're my son is today. He has a small window of growth to be able to do something most of us take for granted, simply because he didnt fit parameters when he was a baby. Another thing that he shared with us this week is that he struggles to read cursive writing. His name and small words are easier to make out. Occupational Therapy is the only way to improve his chances of having legible handwriting to fill out paper work, be able to drive a car, read certain types of type sets or someone's note or a reminder.

Hopefully, God willing, and his services aren't interrupted these are things he maybe able to overcome. High Functioning children on the spectrum will need less help later in life than the more severe children. I've seen a child with severe autism make huge changes to be now considered in the Asperger catagory. This child will need help later in life. He was given opportunity through services and family supports to have a much better future. Under the plan to limit services this child could have a very dismal future.

In the long run, helping all the children on the spectrum, better awareness of milder cases and appropriate services and supports would be less burden on the system than limiting assistance to severe cases. I have to wonder how many children ending up in the justice system could have been aided by appropriate services and more accurate screening.

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