Living with someone who has autism will change your life! It will change you! Sadly, some are not equipped to handle the emotional and physical challenges. Not the case for my family. Each of us has risen to the occasion. I'm amazed every day how far Ollie has come...and how far as a family we've come...and just when you think things couldn't get any better...they do!
A massive international effort led by Canadian scientists has homed in on the genes behind autism - a breakthrough that could revolutionize how the mysterious and surprisingly common condition is both detected and treated. Touting it as the most significant advance in the field in 30 years, researchers say the landmark project has put within reach a DNA test to identify children with autism early enough to counter the condition's worst effects.
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What does this mean? Not too much for Ollie, but it opens the doors for my other two kids. I'll explain in a bit. The wife and I have long thought that DNA played a role in Ollie's condition. I have ADD, which is also a spectrum disorder with similar cross-over signs and symptoms. One that really stands out is the communication element. Ollie has a difficult time communicating with others. While most you know I'm never short of words, I too have a difficult time communicating with people. However, I'm on the other end of the spectrum. Ollie struggles to come up with words. I struggle with saying the right words. I have what I loving call an "un-empathetic mouth!" Even if I know what I'm about to say may make things worse, I will say it anyway...because it is the right thing to say. I will talk to people and then look with amazement when they have a baffled look on their face as if I was speaking in tongues. Both of us have a tough time reading people and saying appropriate things. I can't remember how many times I've blasted out important information to my wife like we were in a locker room, instead of having an important talk about something serious. How many more times will I stick my foot in my mouth? How long before I learn its not ok to tell a lady who is obviously ill, that she looks "BAD!"
OK! Back to why this new research is a good thing for my other two kids...Well now that they have located the DNA that triggers autism, they can get tested to see if they have the variant. Valuable information to have when it comes time to having babies...AND THAT TIME IS A LONG LONG LONG LONG LONG way away for my little girl. Knowing that you have the variant that will predispose your child to autism will prepare you for what comes next, and enable early intervention services to take place. Early intervention services have played a huge role in Ollie's success.
WHAT YOU SHOULD TAKE AWAY FROM THIS:
1. Ollie isn't disabled...he is enabled
2. Autism is a spectrum disorder...chances are there is a child in your kids class who has it.
3. April is Autism Awareness month...if you suspect your child, or a Friends child is showing signs and symptoms of developmental delay YOU HAVE A RIGHT AS A HUMAN AND FRIEND TO SUGGEST THE NEED FOR EARLY INTERVENTION SCREENING AND SERVICES!