Thursday, July 17, 2008


My grandnephew Andy has autism. It is obvious upon simple observation that he does not speak and acts differently than other 4 year olds. The problem for Andy, his parents, and me is that he has not received a diagnosis of autism yet. He has the classical signs of autism like refusing to make eye contact, talking to his hand, not speaking, and frustration from his inability to make us understand what he needs or wants sometimes.

Why does it take so long to have someone in authority to sign a document saying Andy is autistic? Our fear is that with the passage of time and no intervention Andy will find it harder to get the help he needs to learn how to communicate, socialize with others, and invariably be successful in school. It pains me to see him struggle and I am without the skills to help him other than by providing his basic needs and a pair of loving arms into which he enjoys snuggling. More technical support for parents and family members who are trying the navigate the torturous path towards getting that diagnosis would make the waiting much less stressful.

More and more children are being diagnosed with autism. Many people are diagnosed as adults with autism. There simply needs to be a more efficient and effective way of getting services for our autistic loved ones. I want to see Andy read and hear him tell me my arms are like pillows to him. That would be a blessing.

No comments: