Today, over 500,000 individuals in the U.S. are believed to have some form of autism, and this is a conservative estimate. It is not a rare disorder, as you may have been told. Autism is the third most prevalent development disability, more so that Down’s syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy or Multiple Sclerosis.
Autism occurs in families across the world regardless on income, race, religion or social factors. It may surprise you that such noted celebrities as movie star Sylvester Stallone, Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, and M*A*S*H* star William Christopher and more all have children with autism.
ASGO is ran by volunteers, majority who are parents of children with autism and understand what it is like to live with an individual with autism.
Once a parent receives a diagnosis, the next question frequently asked is “What do I need to do next to help my child?” Oftentimes the next step involves planning for individual’s education. As many professionals in the field of autism will agree, developing and appropriate community-based education and treatment program for an individual with autism at an early age is an important step in assisting a child to reach his/her potential. This is not to say that older children or even adults cannot learn to develop. Everyone Can!
If your child is younger than 3 years old, he/she is eligible for “Early Intervention” assistance. This is a federally funded program. Early intervention assistance may be provided to you in your home or at a school/organization. Related serviced should also be offered depending on the needs of the child, such as speech therapy, physical therapy or occupational therapy.
From the age of three through the age of twenty-one, your child is guaranteed a free appropriate public education supplied by your local education agency. We encourage you to fully understand your child’s rights to an education and other available services.
Often the period immediately following the diagnosis can be a difficult one, full confusion, anger and despair. As many of our parents can tell you, we all have had a similar feelings. However, there is life after diagnosis.
Life can be rewarding for a child with autism and all the people who have the privilege of knowing the child. Is it always easy? NO! Remember that few worthwhile experiences are.
It is sad to loose a dream, and some dreams for your child might change but it can be exciting and challenging to build new ones. With proper support, people with autism can lead productive lives as adults, living and working in our community. You can learn to help your child find the world an interesting and loving place to be.
We are here to help you do that. Please feel free to contact us. We do not have all the answers – no on will – but we can share information and resources (with your membership you will receive the Greater Orlando Resource Guide) and help you along the way.