Friday, December 08, 2006

Autism Legislation Passed

I was hoping to blog over the weekend, but time just got away from me.

On Friday I read an article in Newsweek. It is regarding the Combating Autism Act which cleared the House last Wednesday. The bill authorizes nearly $1 billion in research, a national public awareness campaign and early screening programs for each state to diagnose and treat children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

This is phenomenal! When we first started noticing Connor's delays I went to the Ped. I get the feeling that she thought I was slightly exagerating. But she trusted my opinion that an Early Intervention evaluation was needed. When we felt an appointment with a Developmental Ped was necessary, she again trusted my opinion. It was determined that he had PDD-NOS. Pervasive Developmental Disorder is a behavioral disorder of speech, communication, social interaction, and repetitive type compulsive behavior. There are five types....Asperger's, Autism, Rett's, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and PDD-NOS.

Had I not been pro-active, I wonder how long it would have taken to get Connor diagnosed and treated? Would we have just assumed he was a little slower than his brothers? Would he have made it to a mainstream school and been pushed aside because he was slower? That's the real concern. How many kids in the public school are seen as slow, or dumb, or 'retarded', when in actuality they may have a Pervasive Developmental Disorder. This bill will help identify those kids at a younger age. If treated, these kids have a lot of hope for improvement and will be more able to mainstream into a typical classroom.

As the parent of a child with a pervasive developmental disorder, I stood and cheered this news. I do a lot of silent grumbling about our government, but for once I am excited about a useful piece of legislation. I just hope it's not too late for some kids.

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