Odds of a child becoming an Olympic athlete 1 in 28,500. Odds of a child being diagnosed with autism: 1 in 88, with 1 in 55 boys.
Normally, I do not write about personal family things, but today, after watching the Olympics and seeing this latest stat in one of the ads, I am moved to write about autism. I have four grand sons, one has autism. Three of the boys are doing well. But. . .autism breaks your heart every day. There is no cure and the effect on families, emotionally, financially is enormous. Relationships suffer, families sometimes break apart. Siblings bear the burden as well, sometimes becoming very compliant in order not to create more trouble for parents.
Yes, much is being done. Technology will help kids with autism. Awareness by the public is important. My grandson is mainstreamed, so this means that teachers and students have to be very tolerant as he struggles with the challenges of learning every day. The little things that do not bother regular kids, the lights, the bells, the noise, the frustration of trying to keep up with other students and not being able to fully understand. And there is always the bullying.
My regret is being older. I feel I need more time and energy to help more. Meanwhile, everyone in our families, including three sets of grandparents, do what they can, which includes: specialized classes and lectures, technology, researching on our own. There is always the search -- please give us answers -- but there are none.
I appreciate all my friends and family who forward information about autism and their moral support. Autism is a world-wide problem and affects families on all social strata. Perhaps there will be answers someday. Meanwhile. . . .