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What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

April is just around the corner, and it’s World Autism awareness month

This is post one

Read how a child on the spectrum shows love here

Everyone’s heard of autism, but unless it’s affected your family, you won't have a good handle of what autism actually is, and what it means to parent a child on the spectrum. 

It’s important to me that you read this because if your child doesn’t have autism, he or she will have a child or two on the spectrum in their class.

It’s statistically unavoidable.

Learning more about neurodivergent children will help you be a better parent for your child.
 
What is autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?
 
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically gets diagnosed in the first three years of life. It’s a neurological disorder that affects the development of communication and social interaction skills. 

The tricky thing with autism, is once your child is diagnosed, they have it for the rest of their life.

No one can tell you what your child’s future will look like.  And you won’t know what their future will look like until you get there.

These two facts, life long, and uncertain future, are hard to wrap your head around when you’re sitting in a doctor’s office receiving the news for the first time. 
 
What you need to know:
 
A child on the spectrum used to be referred to as a “special needs” child. 
 
We don’t use that term anymore. 
 
We use “Exceptional needs” or “neurodivergent.”
 
 “Normal” (a dirty word) becomes “neurotypical”
 
There’s no test for autism in-utero because doctors still don’t know what causes it. There is no genetic marker for autism, and no universal cause.
 
You may have heard the vaccination debate, that has been repeatedly disproven.  We’ll talk about that a bit in 2 weeks.
 
If you’ve met someone with autism, you still don’t know what autism is. Autism is a spectrum and when a toddler or child (or teenager) is diagnosed, they're placed on the spectrum.

The spectrum ranks their ability to communicate and function at the time of diagnosis.

It doesn’t mean you and your child will be stuck here forever.

At one end of the spectrum you have low functioning, at the other, high functioning. 
 
I have a son with Autism. I’ve been navigating this exceptional world for over 7 years. I have a lot of experience with this subject, and I’ve done a lot of research. I’ve met a lot of parents in the community thought support groups, school, therapy, social media groups, and extracurricular activities. 
 
Year after year I’ve let this month go by without adding my voice because I was raw and exhausted. This year I can lend my voice. It’s important to me that you read this because if your child doesn’t have autism, he or she will have a child or two on the spectrum in their class. It’s statistically unavoidable. Learning more about neurodivergent children will help you be a better parent for your child.

Do you have a child to the spectrum?

I'd live to hear your story!

Please hit reply and tell me all about your LO and you!

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