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Friday, October 14, 2005

On parent's experience with autism

By Darlene Borré
Special To The Canton Journal

My son Benny was a happy, healthy baby/toddler until autism struck at about 15-18 months when he lost all words and his eye contact faded.

He was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 and began an intensive program to teach him and keep him engaged in our world. He started at the Dean S. Luce preschool when he turned 3.

At that time, we worked with the school to revamp their entire preschool program.

Instead of one teacher and two aides for six children, each child was given a 1:1 teacher with supervision from a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) level teacher. Teaching children with autism demands a highly qualified staff.

In 1970 autism was rare affecting 1 to 2 children per 10,000. Since 1992, the autism rate has risen in every state. The CDC now reports that 1 in 166 children are effected with autism.

There are currently 1.5 million people in the U.S. with autism (not including the diagnosis of Aspergers and PDD/NOS). This increase is not due to different diagnostic tests or increased awareness. No one knows the cause or cure.

Yet even with this epidemic of autism, families often feel isolated and alone.

CPAC allows families to meet and share information. I've met many wonderful families and am now trying to spread more information to families as editor of the CPAC newsletter- a bimonthly newsletter.

The newsletter is distributed to the public schools in Canton. People should contact their principal if they did not receive one or contact me at dborre@comcast.net with an e-mail address and I'd be happy to e-mail one.

Darlene Borre is the mother of Ben, who is now 4.

Posted by Becca

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