The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day

waad7_02Today is World Autism Awareness Day. You can read the complete brochure of information here.

On the Today Show today they mentioned these as possible signs that parents should be aware of in your child’s behavior.

  • No joyful expressions by 6 months
  • Trouble keeping eye contact
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No 2-word phrases by 24 months
  • Any loss of speech or social skills at any age

At the same time, as the phrase “autism spectrum” becomes more widely known, be a good advocate for your child and do not let him or her be labled autistic if you don’t feel he or she is autistic.

On a personal note, my son has sensory processing disorder. Autistic children have many sensory issues, so there are spurts of behavoir (like wanting to sit too close or loving/hating loud noises) that can resemble autistic behavoir. SPD is not yet in the medical textbooks, however, it’s been recognized by therapists since the 1960s.

Occuapational therapists have entire certifications in this area. But other professionals laugh it off like it’s a joke. Josh’s first pediatrician was skeptical and asked me “where you are getting your information?” (Ironically, that week there was a front page article in the New York Times – read it here.)

But when Josh was tested for developmental abilities the psychiatrist said Josh was not autistic, but he wanted to “write down that he was so he may qualify for some services.” I said no– there was no way he was putting down an incorrect diagnosis, regardless of the perks we may gain.

If you are a parent with a chronic illness, you are familiar with the ups and downs of the medical system. I hope you also know the advantages of an early diagnosis so don’t ignore possible concerns in your child’s development. At the same time, you know our medical system doesn’t always make sense and it also does make many mistakes.

Whatever the situation fight to do what is best for your child!

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