World According to Matt

World According to Matt

Where the Mysteries of Autism are Revealed One Story at a Time

Best autism awareness commercial - EVER!!

Autism Commercial - This is autism

 

Autism Prevalence is Growing!

Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills.

Every 15 seconds another child is diagnosed with autism.

1 in 88 children, 1 in 50 boys are now diagnosed with some form of autism.  Each child is unique in their symptoms and behaviors, falling somewhere on the autism spectrum.  Thus, you may see autism referred to as ASD - autism spectrum disorder. 

Does your child have autism?  Check list of symptoms

 

 

 

National Institute of Neurological Disorders - Common Signs

According to the NIND, "The hallmark feature of ASD is impaired social interaction.  A child’s primary caregivers are usually the first to notice signs of ASD.  As early as infancy, a baby with ASD may be unresponsive to people or focus intently on one item to the exclusion of others for long periods of time.  A child with ASD may appear to develop normally and then withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement.

Children with ASD may fail to respond to their names and often avoid eye contact with other people.  They have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions, and don’t watch other people’s faces for clues about appropriate behavior.  They lack empathy."  Want to bet? Although this is true for most young children, older autistic individuals have learned many social cues and facial expressions.  They do feel empathy but expressing it is difficult for them.

"Many children with ASD engage in repetitive movements such as rocking and twirling, or in self-abusive behavior such as biting or head-banging.  They also tend to start speaking later than other children and may refer to themselves by name instead of “I” or “me.”  Children with ASD don’t know how to play interactively with other children.  Some speak in a sing-song voice about a narrow range of favorite topics, with little regard for the interests of the person to whom they are speaking" .Only in the early years.  With speech programs and a supportive home environment many of these behaviors can disappear.

Symptoms of Autism

Here are the most commonly seen behaviors suggesting autism.

Behaviors can change quite a bit over time

For many children, symptoms improve with supportive services and age. 

Social skills can improve, speech evolves and behaviors classic to the autism spectrum can drop away.

Autistic children are not mentally handicapped and are quite intelligent. 

They go through the same life changes as other people; childhood, adolescence and adulthood and need to be treated like people their age. 

Many of the social and communication cues they lack can be learned allowing many autistic adults to function independently with only supportive services.

 

 

Matt with his step-sister Sarah. 

Before Matt could speak he was doing this shadow alphabet.  The photo above is of the letter "n".  Sarah was trying to interact by doing the shadows with him. 

Temple Grandin's Website - Great info on autism!

Temple Grandin explains autism as seen from the autistic on her official website. 

Prevalence when Matt was diagnosed in 1986 - 1:10,000