Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Understanding the importance of time in Autism diagnosis

We should be more concerned today as there are alarming increases in Autism diagnoses and it seems both boys and girls are being affected as it was predominantly diagnosed among boys and now seems to be gaining more prevalence among girls too. Currently the rates according to several sources are 1 in 150 children are affected by an autistic disorder in the United States which is measured on a spectrum and the numbers are increasing in occurrence and is quite puzzling. There certainly is a growing demand for doctors and nurses and therapists and health professionals to train in these areas as our children are so affected by these grim statistics and it seems there is no way of knowing how to control this rise.

With such a rise in Autism it is also a concern that diagnoses are done with care and proper testing as there is always the possibility for a wrong diagnosis that can go either way. It really is an epidemic and the causes are a mystery. There are no specifically known causes but there are a lot of theories. A popular medical explanation for the cause of autism is a simple one which simply is abnormalities occurring in the brain structure or brain function occurring at birth.

My wife and I are personally affected by autism as we live it every day with our son and we are trying to provide our son the proper care so he can have the promise of a bright future. I have taken it upon myself to chronicle our experiences as it is very important to write about it, research it, understand it, and try to find ways to address it so we can be proactive and in some way make it possible to pave the way to find ways to help these children as more and more children are being affected by it and it seems there really is no real hope to cure it but finding ways to intervene early enough can make a significant difference. I am very appreciative for Jenny McCarthy because she is a strong advocate for helping find a way to address ways of intervening and claims that autism can be cured and she is coordinating her efforts with the medical association and Autism foundations and Washington D.C. with the help of her partner and comedic actor Jim Carey.

She also is personally affected by autism as she has a beautiful son who she claims she had helped after years of research and talking with doctors and health professionals and making changes to his diet. She has been featured on many talk shows including Oprah and has written 2 books on the subject and is traveling to get her message across to families affected by autism and the medical community. It takes the efforts of leaders like her to get the point across to our political officials and medical professionals and shed light on such an important subject as autism is such a prevalent condition affecting so many young children today and we are going to need to make it a necessity to appropriate funds to research and study autism and provide hope to so many affected by it.

My wife and I also must take responsibility in helping to make a difference in our son's life so he can benefit and find happiness and not be held back. He needs a lot of guidance and support as I repeat a lot because we need it to come from others as well and not just from our efforts. We have to rely on so many others to help our son and hope we are receiving that help because Matthew is in need of help and as parents we want to give him the world. If I were in a position to cure my son by snapping my fingers I would do it immediately but it is not that simple and we just have to hold on to hope and do our part in helping him.

The first question that comes to mind when you learn your child is autistic is what you can do to help them as there really is no known cure. The best thing you can do is be proactive and seek medical guidance and intervention at an early age which certainly will make a difference. There are resources available and the first thing necessary is having an evaluation done by your State's Department of Health Early Intervention Program. You will be referred to an approved official who conducts the testing and then be referred to agencies that provide Early Intervention services. This is crucial as a child's critical development are in their early years from infancy to 3 years old and time is critical.

I always feel we were blessed that we had Early Intervention counselors that helped us through a difficult time and put our minds at ease and had Matthew in the program soon after the diagnosis. We were very lucky and are very grateful for all those special people who came into Matthew's and our lives to bring out the best in him and start him on his way and give us insight and knowledge and hope.

Edward D. Iannielli III

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Please feel free to read my writings and leave a kind message or suggestion. Thank you. Emily