April is Autism Awareness Month and Linda Trent, who lives near Toto, is the grandmother of two grandsons who have been diagnosed with autism.
Although little is known about the care of autism, it is known that it affects information that is processed in the brain. Signs of the disease usually show up in a child between the ages of two and three, although some children regress into the disease as they get a little older.
Trent says that people have a hard time being around an autistic child.
“A lot of times when people see a child acting up they think, ‘Somebody should do something about that brat’, said Trent. “That brat isn’t a brat. That child can not help the activities they’re doing. Whether it’s clapping their hands or tapping on things, or making odd noises, they cannot help it. They need a lot of help in school. Many of them have a para-pro to assist them through the school system. It’s difficult for them because many of them don’t like to feel certain fabrics or certain sounds, or even smells. They might act up when things bother them. They might not hug you if you have that hair spray or cologne on. It might upset them.”
It’s not known if the disease is diagnosed more readily than in past eras, or if more children are born with a propensity for developing into an autistic child.
“We have one in every 110 children who are diagnosed as autistic,” said Trent. “It’s four times more common in boys. If you have an autistic sibling, you’re four times more likely to be autistic. It’s just growing in numbers. Cases of autism surpasses children that have AIDS, cancer and diabetes combined.”
Tomorrow we’ll explore whether vaccinations have anything to do with autism.