Monday, September 1

The Autism Puzzle


Did anyone watch The Autism Puzzle on television on Sunday night? I found the show very interesting. It touched on different aspects of the autism spectrum. Some children are low functioning autistic, which means that it can take them years to learn basic lessons that other children know instinctively, such as a few simple words. The show also touched on high functioning autism, which means no one knows the person has autism by looking at them, but do know that he acts differently.

People who suffer from any type of autism do not see things the same as we see them. The show touched on a study at Yale University where they tested children with and without autism. The researchers showed the children images of people on a television screen and monitored their eye movements. Children with autism didn't look at the upper part of people's faces. More often they concentrated on the area around the mouth. This is typical of those who have autism. They have no eye contact and if the autism is severe, they may not even be able to tell the difference between people and objects.

One in every 150 people suffer from autism. As my regular readers will know, one of these people is my grandson, Brandon. The chances are that you also know someone on the autism spectrum, even though they've never been formally diagnosed with the disorder. Many adults who have struggled all of their life have autism, yet no diagnosis has ever been made.

Today, 1 in 150 children are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. That sounds like a lot. Could it be because there are more cases of autism or just that it was never diagnosed in previous years?

There is no cure for autism but with autism research, children can be taught many things that will help them live a happy and fulfilling life. Please help to raise autism awareness.


  1. Mary, wonderful post. I am working with a child this year that has Asperger's. In all my years of being an aide in our school system this is the first time I will have helped an Autistic child. So far I am loving both the challenge and the child.

    God bless.

  2. My first wife and I were working wtih children with Autism when we were in college together,it only lasted for a sememster. Man that was an eye opener.

  3. I'm sure you knew when you wrote this post that it would get a comment from me, didn't you? If I hadn't commented here, you'd probably think either my computer was down or I was too sick to type. Right?
    I have nothing to back my thoughts on autism, the whys and such, but I do believe that the "epidemic" of autism today is more in that there is much more known about the disorder, therefore, more children are being diagnosed simply because science can now do this earlier and easier. I hesitate to use the word "easier" there because in many respects, there really is nothing "easy" about autism. It is a very complicated, multi-faceted disorder guaranteed quite often to try your patience to the nth degree and yet, there are also so very many joys also that can be associated with it -the little things one tends to take for granted so often in what are considered "normal" children, to see a child with autism learn and master some of these simple things is awesome!
    As you know, my daughter and her family -which consists of two children -ages almost 5 and 2 -who are both on the spectrum. It is a roller-coaster ride some days with these two but still and all, I wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China! Sometimes I wonder who is teaching who in this house too as I have learned so much from being with these two and finally, in my sixties now, am even learning a lot about acquiring something called "patience!" I may get there yet.
    Great post Mary and you know I frequently post about some of the antics my two grandkids do here -mainly to try to show people they are still very much like other children their age but it's just that they learn things in a different way than most of the rest of us do. But with therapy, proper instruction and yes, that other thing again too -patience -along with lots and lots of love, they can learn and move forward to have wonderful lives too.

  4. A very informative post. I have a friend who is raising her grandson who has autism. Delaware has a very good reputation for treatment of autism. Every year down here near the beach there is an Autism Ball to raise money and awareness.

  5. Older fathers are a robust risk factor for sporadic autism and schizophrenia, the public should be informed.

  6. Mary, I have been catching up on your blog, and you have been busy,. Love the pics of the new baby, and Gryffin looks happy!!I know a couple of families who have sons with Autism also, it's so hard on them at times. What loving children. . Never give up on HOPE!! You have a great holiday.
    God Bless:)

  7. I always learn something new about autism from you. You are doing a fabulous job in raising awareness. Thank you!

  8. Outstanding post Mary. This is a topic that needs more attention. Thank you for sharing with us.

  9. Mary, I didn't see the show, but I have found other bloggers who are working with their children who have autism.

    I'm learning a lot!! Thanks for posting!

  10. I don't know if you have met MelanieJoy but she works in a private school with children with Autism. God has given her a passion to help them and she is really good at her job.
    It is amazing how something I never knew about growing up is now getting so well known.
    I know I have told you about my friend who has a son with Autism.
    Keep putting the word out there never know who you might be helping.

  11. This is one fantastic and very loving post. I really like these great educational television programs!! I try to watch them often. The more we learn of these incurable disorders the more we can help those afflicted!!

    Fabulous blog entry Mary, fabulous!!!

  12. Unfortunately I didn't get to watch that show, in fact I had no idea it was on but then I hardly have the tv on anymore! lol As I've told you before, I have become so much more educated about autism due to your posts about it and for that I thank you. To have 1 in 150 children diagnosed with autism is indeed a very high number but I do believe that it's because so much more is known about it now and they are diagnosed much easier now. xoxo