Autism is a brain disorder that affects people of all races, nationalities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Its onset is typically between one and three years of age but diagnosis can be made as late as adulthood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 1 in every 68 children has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Learn the facts here: National Institute of Mental Health (MIMH)
Our Tips for Meeting with Support Staff:
- Keep a notebook to record what you are told by teachers, doctors, and therapists. Use this notebook to write down your questions for them as well.
- Keep copies of test results, blood work, medication information, and therapy referrals.
- Look for Internet articles to keep. Highlight the parts that are of interest to you and discuss these with your doctors, teachers, and therapists.
- When you are meeting with your doctor, your therapist, or your school, make sure to dress professionally. People will take you more seriously if you present yourself well.
- Bring a support person who can assist you, provide information about your child, and comfort you during your meetings.
- Take notes in meetings, and ask people to repeat anything you need to write down. This keeps track of what was said, and helps professionals to be most clear and specific.
- Bring a calendar and flip it open at the end of a meeting, asking, “When do we meet next?” This prevents phone tag and “delay of game” that can occur in school or other situations.
Autism and the Brain
Lu Randall, President of Autism Connection of Pennsylvania uses a simple prop to demonstrate how autism affects the brain. And she explores the role of advocacy for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder who cannot always advocate for themselves due to communication and social impairments.