Autism Resources

May 12th, 2010

AUTISM-What is it?

One Mother’s Thoughts

By: Irene Costello

Well, this is a hard question to answer. In reality autism means different things for different people. Even identical twins who both have autism can be affected in vastly different ways. Autism can affect a person’s ability to communicate and to engage in social relationships. We say CAN not DO because autism affects people in varying degrees. This is why it is often referred to as ASD or autism spectrum disorders.

When thinking of autism as a spectrum of disorders it is easier to grasp that some people are severely affected, some people only mildly and a vast amount of those with autism fall somewhere in between. Some people with autism can communicate quite well and do manage to establish relationships; some may need twenty four hour care. But wherever a person falls on the spectrum, The Twin Hearts Autism Foundation believes that they deserve a chance to be happy and to reach their fullest potential. That’s why we need your help.

Autism can affect the way a person processes and reacts to stimuli in their environment. For some people with autism, everyday sounds, sights and smells can be quite upsetting and overwhelming. It’s important that people who do not have autism learn to respect the different reactions that people with autism may have when encountered with new and/or overwhelming situations in order to help them feel more welcome in various environments.

Imagine that you are participating in a family dinner. A family member is asking you if you like your dinner, but you hear her voice equally as loudly as you hear the light bulb buzzing and the exhaust fan running. How would you feel? Would it be difficult for you to focus on her voice and form a coherent answer? Now add on top of that the fact that you may need to answer her using sign language or an augmentative communication device. It wouldn’t be so easy, would it? Some people with autism experience this sensory bombardment constantly everyday.

AUTISM – What causes it? Can it be cured?

Again, this is hard to answer. The reason is that nobody knows for sure. Several theories exist about the cause of autism (genetic, environmental, etc) , but no definitive cause has been identified at this time. There is no recognized medical “cure”. BUT, there is hope. Parents of children with autism have seen great progress in their child’s communication and overall development when they receive intensive therapy, educational experiences and medical and nutritional advice.

Check back to our website soon for links to other autism organizations.