A Commentary on the Article on NY Times 'Studying Autism Isn't Enough'

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Since the article “Studying Autism Isn’t Enough” publication last November, The Combating Autism Act, was signed by President Bush into law. The bill will appropriate almost 1 billion dollars in the next 5 years to speed up Autism research. There are several schools of thought when it comes to Autism Spectrum Disorders. This has plagued the Autism community for decades, dividing families into factions of the more effective methodology for their children. There is more to Autism than all the methodologies, treatments or research. Our children’s psychological and psychosocial well-being is at stake and the earlier we can intervene with whatever treatment is out there, we give our children a better chance of coping and living a more productive life in the future. How does this all relate to our psychology course? It touches every facet, perspective and methodology that we will cover in this course as well as further advanced studies of psychology. Children that are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder exhibit deficiency to communicate and develop social relationships and are often accompanied by behavioral challenges. The psychologist provides a base line often with a psychological as well as a psychosocial evaluation. If a child does not show atypical development milestones by 18 months to 2 years of age, it is tantamount for parents to consider having their child evaluated. The psychologist conducts the evaluation. Observations of the child’s motor skills, receptive and expressive language, imaginative play and social interaction are noted. The psychologist’s professional training and knowledge of child development can pinpoint deficits in any of these areas and they can then recommend early intervention to focus on speech, o... ... middle of paper ... ... and most recently skiing and it is evident that he has the focus for all these activities given the chance to engage. I am working with the Department of Education now to incorporate organized sports with the Adaptive Physical Education programs and also conduct family sports night to engage parents and the children to interact with one another. I am excited and eager to attend this course to be able to elevate my knowledge of human behaviors and our mental processes. It will not only help me cope with my son’s disorder, it will also help me understand his perspective. This article hits closer to home because it is also a parent’s perspective. There is one commonality between all parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and that is, we will not rest and will continue to find anything that is available to help our children cope and live productive lives.

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