Having a child diagnosed with autism can be a real shock for parents, and even frighten them. What these parents may not have known before the diagnosis, though, is that they’re far from alone, and that there is help available.
If you’ve just discovered that your son or daughter has special needs, here’s a few things you should know.
It’s More Prevalent Than You Might Imagine
Believe it or not, autism now affects about one in 68 children, with boys being nearly five times more likely than girls to have it. In fact, there are now 3.5 million Americans living with an autism spectrum disorder.
There Are Autism Centers That Can Help
There is help out there. Autism centers have methods of therapy that can effectively help. Since the 1960s, therapists have been using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to help children with autism, and with related developmental disorders. In traditional ABA therapy, a therapist spends between 20 and 40 hours each week one-on-one with a child. In modified ABA therapy, the therapist spends between 10 and 15 hours each week one-on-one with the child. That way, the child has the time to go to other therapies, such as speech therapy, or occupational therapy.
Autism Therapy Is Proven Effective
Doctors are able to diagnosis children with autism as early as the age of two years old. These diagnoses are reliable, valid, and stable, and the sooner a child is diagnosed, the sooner they can be helped. With an early diagnosis, the cost of lifelong autism-related care can actually be reduced by as much as two-thirds.
Autism is far more prevalent than you might imagine, and thankfully, there are centers and therapists who can help with methods that have been proven effective. If you have any questions about autism, or the therapies that can be used to help, feel free to share in the comments.