DALTON FOREAKER, THREE-YEARS-OLD
KERRICK COBLE, 10-YEARS-OLD
TYLER PRIDEMORE, 18-YEARS-OLD
AND TEMPLE GRANDIN, 64-YEARS-OLD.
DIFFERENT AGES, DIFFERENT ENDS OF THE SPECTRUM. ALL DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER OR A-S-D.
"On one end of the spectrum you're gonna have a brilliant person who's running an important company out in Silicon Valley the other end of the spectrum you're gonna have somebody who's gonna remain non-verbal."
TEMPLE SAYS NO MATTER WHERE YOU START, FOR ALL INFANTS, EARLY INTERVENTION IS KEY. ONE STUDY FOUND KIDS PLACED IN INTENSIVE PROGRAMS BEFORE THEIR THIRD BIRTHDAY IMPROVED THEIR I-Q BY 18 POINTS...CHANGING THE SEVERITY OF THEIR DIAGNOSIS.
FOR TODDLERS AND YOUNG KIDS, ONE OF THE MOST OVERLOOKED PROBLEMS IS SENSORY OVERLOAD! FROM LOUD SOUNDS TO LIGHTING.
"Fluorescent lighting will flicker like a disco tech, flash on and off like a strobe light, and that is one of the worst problems we can have in the classroom."
AVOID THAT BY USING 100-WATT LAMPS FOR THE CHILD'S DESK.
TEMPLE ALSO RECOMMENDS USING PALE COLORED GLASSES AND PRINTING HOMEWORK ON PASTEL PAPER. STUDENTS WITH A-S-D TYPICALLY DO BEST WITH ROUTINES. OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM TEENS SHOULD FIND INTERESTS THAT CREATE STRUCTURE AND REPETITION TO HELP THEM DEVELOP JOB SKILLS. "Paper routes are the best thing that ever happened to 13-year-olds especially kids that are kinda geeky and on the spectrum because you gotta do it every day!"
REGARDLESS OF WHERE YOU START ON THE SPECTRUM...
"Einstein would be labeled autistic today.
He had no language until he was three years old."
A LITTLE EXTRA ATTENTION CAN GO A LONG WAY.
WHEN IT COMES TO COLLEGE KIDS, TEMPLE SAYS GOOD MAJORS FOR VISUAL THINKERS ARE ART, ANIMATION AND DESIGN.
THOSE MOTIVATED BY MATH SHOULD CHECK INTO COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING.
AND WORD THINKERS MAY FIND A MATCH WITH LIBRARY SCIENCE OR JOURNALISM.
FOR LINKS TO MORE LOCAL RESOURCES GO TO http://www.autismparent2parent.com/