Receiving a diagnosis of autism can be devastating to some parents, but for others it can be a relief to have a label for their child's symptoms. Many parents are overwhelmed by fear and grief for the loss of the future they had hoped for their child. However, these strong emotions also motivate parents to find effective help for their children.
According to the Center of Disease Control, autism is diagnosed in 1 out of 93 children today, making autism more prevalent than childhood cancers, multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis combined. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. Education and understanding are vital steps in helping those affected by autism.
One should keep in mind however, that autism is a spectrum disorder and it affects each individual differently and at varying degrees - this is why early diagnosis is so crucial. By learning the signs, a child can begin benefiting from one of the many specialized intervention and treatment programs.