Breaking News Bar

John Homan: There's hope that a cure for autism may be nearer

 
By John Homan
Managing editor
jhoman@localsouthernnews.com
Posted on 4/20/2018, 1:00 AM

There was an awareness and fundraising walk for autism last Saturday in Du Quoin. Dozens turned out despite cold, wet weather.

With event sponsor, General Cable, leading the way, more than $6,000 was raised for the Tri-County Special Education district.

Kudos to General Cable for a job well done! It's that kind of community involvement that can make a real difference in this world.

"All proceeds will be used to purchase special stools, desks and other sensory equipment helpful to the education of autistic and ADHD children," said Sherrie Taylor, event organizer with General Cable's Community Engagement Committee.

The money raised exceeded the company's goal by more than $1,000.

So, how prevalent is autism?

National studies indicate that incredibly, about one out of every 68 children born in America are diagnosed with some form of autism.

But parents of autistic children have hope. Progress is being made in combating the disease. In fact, a complete cure may not be that far out of reach.

According to nursingschoolhub.com, "autism can be treated much more effectively when spotted early in a child's life. There is even hope that the disorder can be reversed altogether.

"The Early Start Denver Model is an example of reaching out to children with autism ages 4 to 12, to reverse the effects using intervention therapy that teaches skills."

Autismspeaks.org explains that the early intervention program integrates a relationship-focused developmental model with the well-validated teaching practice of Applied Behavioral Analysis.

"Until recently, autism has been considered by many as a hopeless, incurable, and absolute condition," the website states. "Now, however, research suggests that intensive behavioral intervention, begun when a child is between 2 and 5 years old, can have a significant and lasting positive impact."

According to the website, "this intervention leads to improvement in virtually all children, and in some cases it leads to complete eradication of any sign of the disorder.

"While behavioral intervention is also the treatment of choice for older children and adults with autism, research shows that its potential for dramatic improvement is greatest with young children."

Wouldn't it be wonderful to see this frustrating disorder eliminated once and for all?