Underestimated: An Autism Miracle
The statistics vary slightly depending on the study but about one in fifty births in the U.S. today will have an autistic diagnosis by the time the child is 8 years old. That adds up to about seven million people with autism in this country. Up to 40 percent of the children with autism spectrum disorders remain minimally speaking even after years of interventions. That is nearly three million people!
For parents of autistic children along with their caregivers it is a daily struggle to communicate with these kids and adults. Because of this, parents are at a loss in their ability to ascertain the needs of their children, and parents, teachers, and caregivers are almost universally unaware of the cognitive ability of the child. For most families with children categorized as severely autistic or profoundly autistic the fear of their child needing lifetime assistance is heartbreaking, exhausting and requires financial planning that hangs over them as they themselves get older.
Most non-speaking autistic kids receive care from specialists in speech and behavior therapy and most improve to some degree. However, their methods are weighted in the belief that there is a cognitive deficit in the brains of autistics with the emphasis of treatment to fix the speech patterns. Elizabeth Vosseller SLP (speech language pathologist) broke with the accepted protocols and assumed that most autistic people were cognitively normal but were simply experiencing an inability to verbalize their thoughts because ... more >