Thursday, April 01, 2010
World Autism Awareness Day is being celebrated April 2. The Secretary of the United Nations is calling for a "Community of Voices to Promote Greater Awareness." For those of us who work everyday with children with autism and for parents of children with autism it is hard to believe that there is a need for more awareness since it occupies our time 24-7. But there is. Many people just don't understand the battle that is being waged over funding, research, and treatment. I do think there is some good news. Parents of children with autism and professionals who work with children with autism are becoming more aware of what works and what does not work. Of course, there are still intense arguments about causes of autism--especially over vaccinations. But most caregivers are settling into mainstream treatments like ABA, speech, occupational therapy, and when necessary medication. More and more parents who come to our clinic are already acquainted with ABA and other mainstream treatments and have decided that ABA should be the treatment for their child. Funding for ABA and finding qualified experienced ABA professionals is now the challenge, as it is for other mainstream treatments. And the waiting line for diagnosis is still too long.