I believe autism is real

Jesse - Wendell, North Carolina
Entered on June 11, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that people should not be in denial about developmental issues in their children and that the state should help families who do not have the means to support treatment for those children. When I was 10 years old my younger brother was born and I was no longer an only child. It was a tough transition at first but I have loved my brother since the day he was born. When he was about 3 my mother and step-father finally got over their denial and accepted that he was not developing properly and took him to be evaluated. He was diagnosed with Autism.

My parents were not informed of ways to help children with autism nor did they have the means to afford those special treatments. My mother took it upon herself to enroll my brother into the school system early so that he could have a head start. He is still a year behind but he has been moved into all normal classes and I could not be prouder of him. Because of him I know to take nothing in my life for granted. He not only has changed how I look at my own life but he has helped guide me to my future career.

At this time, 1 out of every 150 children and 1 out of every 90 boys are diagnosed with Autism. There are some state funded programs that offer therapy based solely on the needs of the child but there are not enough. The company I work for is one such company but even we have children who get put on waiting lists and may stay on them for years. Unfortunately, if children with disabilities go a long period without any kind of treatment, and they are lower functioning, they are less likely to make any kind of significant achievement later.

My brother’s ability to transition into normal classes and interact appropriately with his peers makes me very proud of him. It also gives me hope for many other children in the world who have special needs. While I do recognize that some individuals may be too severely impaired to every function at a high level, I know there are some who can benefit greatly from treatment. If North Carolina would set aside more funds to be used to help special populations, more children with developmental disabilities maybe able to receive the therapy they need to function well in society. These funds could come from taxes or a special program set aside from fundraising and donations.